Several years ago while shopping with one of my daughters I noticed a merchandise line I’d never seen before. The display of shirts, bags and household items featured a startling message: All About Me. I did a double-take, stopping at the store window to make sure that I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.
Without a doubt, I get the human tendency to make life “all about me.” At times, it has been a daily struggle. While the inclination toward “all about me” has existed since the beginning of mankind, I believe we live in a time where self-absorption is not only accepted, but is encouraged and embraced. And while we may not choose such a slogan as the guiding theme of our life, I wonder if we, even well-meaning Christians, have been guided by it more than we realize.
One thing becomes abundantly clear when we become a Christian and spend time reading the Bible: We’ve not been thinking and acting like Jesus. Read the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7). It’s easy to be overwhelmed at the standard set by these words for Christ-followers. Motivated by a sincere desire to change, we can easily be sucked into an obsession of all about me: Lord, fix me. Lord, change me.
Don’t misunderstand: those are needful, beautiful prayers. We are clearly called “…not to be conformed to the patterns of this world any longer, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). Transformation doesn’t happen without our cooperation. The process is called sanctification, and it will take place our entire lives. But is it to be the primary focus of our lives? I don’t think so. A focus on what God needs to do in me is still a focus on me. I am one of God’s neediest children. I’m desperate for the life of God in me to transform me and flow out to others. Yet I’ve discovered that making myself the primary focus is a far less effective way to become more like Jesus.
I began 2015 with the following words in my journal: “Father, how glorious 2015 would be if this year was all about YOU. I want this year to be radical in a focus shift from me to You!” That’s the journey I’m on, and I’m not alone. A group of us are spending 2015 pondering 52 Ways to Glorify God. I hope you’ll join us. On an average of once a week, I plan to write a post featuring a specific way and practical suggestions of how we can order our lives around living for the glory of God.
If we seek God and His glory first, then all things, including the transformation that still needs to occur in us, will happen (Matthew 6:33).