It's Not About You
- Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
- 2004 8 Jul
We’re all prone to think that we can find happiness if we focus on ourselves. But self-centered lives never lead to true fulfillment. It’s only when we look beyond ourselves to the One who made us – God – that we can discover the joy we’re seeking. As we bring God glory, we fulfill the purpose for which He created us.
Here are some ways you can turn from a self-centered life toward a God-centered life:
Get to know God. Rather than seeking things from God, seek to know God Himself. Spend lots of time with Him in prayer, developing intimacy with Him.
Realize that everything exists for God’s glory. Understand that God has chosen to reveal His glory for our good, not his own. Know that God wants you to grow as you see how He reflects His glory through your life. Thank Him for the good gifts He has given you – like your talents – and strive to use them well to honor God and bless other people.
Be humble. Consider God’s holiness, and how far from it we would be on our own. Remember the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on the cross so we could receive God’s mercy and grace. Don’t boast in your abilities; remember that apart from God, you can do nothing.
Consider your place in time. Remember that, from God’s eternal perspective, your life on Earth is just a brief moment. Ask God to give you the patience you need to endure the struggles of life in our fallen world during your short stay here. Know that you will enjoy complete peace in heaven.
Rely on God’s unchanging presence. Understand that you can always count on God. Expect people and circumstances to change, but know that God will never change. Remember that He has promised to always be with you, no matter what.
Rely on God’s great love. Realize what a great burden it would be if the world truly did revolve around you. Thank God that you don’t have that responsibility. Know that God loves you too much to place burdens on you that you can’t handle. Remember that you can turn to God for help anytime you need it, because He loves you deeply and unconditionally.
Think of yourself as God’s mirror. Just as a mirror’s job is to reflect light, you should reflect God’s glory to the world. Take God’s message – the Gospel – to the world by sharing its story with other people in your life.
Understand that salvation isn’t about what you do; it’s about what God does. Realize that no amount of piety or good works can possibly earn you a place in heaven. Trust in Jesus’ work on the cross and receive the free gift of salvation. Let your own faithfulness be a grateful response to God’s gift of love.
Glorify God with your body. Recognize that your body is God’s instrument and the dwelling place of His Spirit. Respect your body by treating it well. Get enough sleep and exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Don’t abuse your body by using it for sin like illicit sex. Use your body to serve God as He leads you.
Understand that your struggles have purposes. Ask God to show you what He would like you to learn from each hardship that He allows into your life. Take heart that your faith in the face of suffering inspires others to seek God themselves, and therefore brings God glory.
Use your successes to bring God glory. Realize that God lets you excel so you can make Him known. Don’t take all the credit for the success you experience. Be sure to remember God, who gave you the ability to become successful. Thank Him.
Don’t worry about what people think of you. Be concerned about what people think of God. Rather than trying to build your own reputation, focus on representing God well. Recognize that He is the one who is ultimately important. Strive to be a good ambassador for Him.
Adapted from It’s Not About Me, copyright 2004 by Max Lucado. Published by Integrity Publishers, a division of Intergrity Media, Inc., Brentwood, TN., www.integritypublishers.com.
With more than 30 titles in print, Max Lucado’s works have spent decades on the national bestsellers lists and garnered numerous awards. He and his wife, Denalyn, have three daughters. He ministers at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.