We are born self-centered. We grow up self-centered. And we navigate the waters of life as an adult self-centered.
Making matters worse is the instant-gratification society we are living in right now. It’s what Jonathan Stagno, my great friend and senior advisor to Love God Fear Nothing–calls a YOUniverse!
Today’s cultural force field acts as a filter through which the media promotes self-centeredness and perpetuates its powerful grip on society. The vulnerable people under this attack are chasing success, money, materialism, hedonism, power, achievement, and superficiality. That chase, which I used to be part of, leaves no time or room in the heart for God, let alone others.
The common thread running through and dominating this frightening self-centeredness narrative is ME, MY, AND I:
- I want…
- MY needs…
- What about ME?
People living by this narrative look at everything they encounter through this lens: What can I get out of it? Self-centeredness is rooted in a person’s fleshly desire to please their own interests more than they want to please God. Every act of self-love is rebellion against the authority of God.
BLOWING UP SELF
Jesus created us to do great things well beyond our comprehension and imagination for him and his Kingdom. But unless and until we reject all vestiges of self-centeredness, we will come up short on that goal and sacred responsibility.
God doesn’t want that to be our fate. He wants us to step off our self-absorbed pedestal and elevate him into his right position of Lord. He wants us to channel the energy we’ve been spending loving ourselves to loving him and others. He wants us to close down the “church of self” and disconnect from the YOUniverse.
“Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8
It’s tempting to be selfish rather than humble and to focus only on ourselves and what matters to us. We need to ask God to help us see the value of helping others and their interests above our own. Our goal should be to live a life of servant-hood that exemplifies the love of Jesus.
“Let go of selfish desires and earthly security and focus instead on the interests of God.” Matthew 6:33
Blowing up self is the only way we will ever be able to befriend others, shoulder their burdens, and help them just as Jesus did for us. But how can we handle someone else’s life when it is beyond our capacity to care for those who will not benefit us in some way?
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
“If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” James 2:15-16
“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” 1 John 3:17