“Forgive me, Lord,” I whispered.

No sooner were the words out of my mouth than the reminder came to my heart: “Somebody has to set up the chairs.”

So that was it! God was calling me to servanthood right there in my own home, where it is often most difficult to maintain a servant’s heart and where the “all-about-me” attitude threatens to surface more often than many of us would like to admit.

I realized that with an effort of my will, I could change my actions, but only God could change my heart. It was the perfect partnership, and one I continue to practice each day of my life, reminding myself that “somebody has to set up the chairs” and that God will not call me to serve without also equipping me to do so.

What a wonderful starting place to keep us focused on what really matters in this holiday season—and throughout the year! And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could employ that “beyond me,” “you-first,” “setting-up-the-chairs” concept to help those closest to us? To move past that “all-about-me,” self-serving attitude of the world and practically and purposefully follow after Jesus on the road to humble servanthood?

I believe we can do just that. In addition to modeling that sort of God-honoring lifestyle through our own actions and attitudes, why not join our children (or grandchildren) in planning some hands-on holiday activities that will help them grow beyond self to begin to fulfill the limitless potential that is found only in serving God and others?

First, why not take advantage of the many opportunities to serve those less fortunate in our communities? Rescue missions and soup kitchens abound, often to overflowing, with those in need of a hot meal, a warm blanket, or a kind word. Could there be a better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to serve a holiday meal to those who might otherwise not have one?

What about ministries within our own churches, many of them geared to collect, wrap, and then distribute gifts to those little ones with whom Jesus so loved to spend His time on earth?

Hospitals and elder-care homes provide another avenue of ministry to those in need. Nothing puts a smile on the face or a song in the heart quicker than a group of Christmas carolers bearing plates of homemade cookies and fudge.

Where or how we set up the chairs isn’t nearly as important as doing so with a humble and grateful heart, one that has learned to reject the world’s message that “it’s all about me” and to adopt the message of a true disciple that “it’s all about loving Him, and serving others.”

May you and your family enjoy “beyond me” living—throughout this holiday season, and always!

Kathi Macias, popular speaker and prolific author, is an Angel-award winning writer who has published twenty-six books and hundreds of articles. Whether keyboarding her latest book, keynoting a conference, or riding on the back of her husband’s Harley, Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias is a lady on a mission to communicate God’s vision. Her insightful words—filled with passion, humor, and soul nourishment—refresh audiences from all walks of life, and her Spanish devotionals, “Desde el Corazon del Padre,” (with English translations) can be found on Crosswalk.com each Monday. Her latest book, BEYOND ME: LIVING A YOU-FIRST LIFE IN A ME-FIRST WORLD, named “top pick” in the Christian Living category by Christian Retailing magazine, was released July 1, 2008, from New Hope Publishers. It's available at bookstores nationwide, as well as at online bookstores and on Kathi’s website, www.kathimacias.com.