Your Life is Not About You
by Mary Wisen
Follow your heart.
You are so special.
You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
We are bombarded with messages that life is all about us. And we respond with a mindset that mirrors those messages:
I'll do what I want.
No one better get in my way.
I'll only do things that help accomplish my goals.
These responses remind me of my youngest son, Judah. He's only three and so naturally he believes the world revolves around him. I spend most of my day saying "no" in an effort to protect him and others from his self-centered logic. "No, you may not want up at 5:30 a.m." "No, you may not eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch for every meal." "No, you may not hit Beau just because you felt like it." "No, you may not poop in your pants the rest of your life."
At the end of the day, Cal and I will sit down and laugh about how crazy Judah's ideas are. We look forward to the day when Judah discovers he's not the king that the rest of the family is here to serve. While it seems easy to identify that a three year old's logic is flawed, yet isn't it the same logic we use when we make life all about us? Don't we all strive to be the king (or queen) that people are serving? The world calls us to serve ourselves, to gain standing and acceptance - yet God gives us a very different view of how we gain purpose and fulfillment.
WE WERE CREATED TO GIVE GOD GLORY
Created to Serve
We were created to give God glory. "For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him." (Col. 1:16). When we acknowledge that He is King (and not us), we are blessed with love, fulfillment, confidence, peace, and joy! What a gift it is to be told our purpose from our creator!
And God even goes a step further to help us bring Him glory and find our fulfillment in Him by showing us how to achieve our purpose. It can be found in Galatians 5 - "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve on another." (Gal. 5:13). Service is our calling. Service is the perfect reflection of our Savior. "Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant." (Phil. 2:6-7). Service is sacrificing our desires and self-centered goals for the glory of a God who promises us joy in Him!
So what does this look like practically?
Serve God in Your Home
Your family is the primary ministry God has gifted to you. This means that they are the first opportunity of sacrificial service you are given every day. Your spouse is a gift that God has given you to give Him glory by choosing them and their desires over your own - just like your Savior chose you over his own life! Let them choose the movie, the date night, the dinner menu. Clean their mess up being thankful you have someone's mess to clean. Listen to how their day went even if you don't get asked in return. Serve without expectation of anything back.
Talk and play with your kids even when your favorite show is on. Serve them by actively parenting them - setting boundaries, following through with consequences, sharing the Gospel in love and discipling, teaching them with grace and truth. Even though parenting is one of the most exhausting and ungrateful jobs there is, you will be giving glory to God by mimicking and reminding yourself of what God's Gospel really is - God giving himself for us!
Serve God in Your Community
Serve your friends, neighbors, and coworkers by sacrificially giving your time to them. Make meals for families that are going through hard times. Pack boxes for a move or do home projects when your friends need help, even if you don't need anything in return. Be quick to forgive mistakes at work or help a coworker finish work that wasn't yours to finish. Show the world that you will give of yourself sacrificially (not asking for anything in return - including credit) despite others deserving it or not. God constantly gives us His time and grace when we so clearly don't deserve it - mimic God to give Him glory.
Serve God in Your Church
Don't make church about you and what you can get out of it - make it about having a community that you can sacrificially serve and give God glory! Serve your heart out wherever help is needed. Hold babies, wrangle toddlers, do crafts with elementary kids because all of it shares God's love with others through sacrificial service.
Run a camera, switch the song slides, shake a hand, guide cars to open spaces with a smile because it gives God glory to serve and sacrifice your time. Clean up spills, cut up donuts, arrive at church earlier than everyone to do it just because you want to share God's joy through sweets and coffee. All of this service, seen or unseen, gives God glory and participates in spreading His Gospel by making the church run effectively.
Life is Short - Start Sacrificially Serving Others Now
Our lives are not about us. They're for God. And when you look at it from an eternal perspective, we're not here for very long. "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes" (James 4:14). Most of our living will be done in perfect eternity with a holy and loving God. Our life on earth is the only time that we are given to sacrificially serve God. In heaven, it won't be sacrificial because we won't have to fight our self-focused desires anymore!
So choose to not lose another day on selfish living now and use the time God has graciously given you to give Him glory by serving others! Put on your mom voice and tell yourself, "No, you may not watch another hour of Netflix." "No, you may not walk in and out of church without engaging with others." "No, you may not skip small group because you're tired and don't feel like it." God has a better way for us and is excited for the day we realize we aren't the king everyone else is here to serve!