I am a selfish person. No really – not going for shock value here – just trying to be honest. God in his grace is changing that part of my life, but I am very much still in process. I’m selfish, and if I had to guess, I would say that you are, too (not trying to accuse anyone! Just an educated guess). I’ve learned the hard way that life isn’t all about me, that my way is not always the best way (the vast majority of the time), and that God is infinitely more gracious with me in my process of growth than I could ever conceptualize or imagine. Living a God-centered life as opposed to living a life that is centered on my wants/desires/needs is a basic yet difficult aspect of following Jesus. Here are a few basic ideas that continue to be helpful for me to remember as God redeems the selfishness in my life:GOD CARES DEEPLY ABOUT ME
What often lies at the bottom of a selfish, “me-centered” heart attitude is the belief that I must make life work for me because there is no one else who is genuinely concerned for my needs. While immediate circumstances might point toward that fact, the reality is that God is deeply concerned about your life. He is so concerned about your life that He died for you. He was tortured for you. He cares deeply for you. The cross of Jesus demonstrates that reality vividly.GOD INVOLVES ME IN HIS STORY
The Biblical antithesis to selfish living is not the call to lay down the rights of your life in order to sit and wait in misery for an ethereal eternity. No. Rather, God invites us to set aside self-centered lives in order to be a part – yes to be participants in! – the greatest story the world has ever known. As we say “no” to a life that revolves around “me”, God invites us into something much bigger than ourselves. His story is not mundane. To lay down our “me-centered” lives to be a part of His story of redemption is not a loss on our part. Rather, it is infinite gain.GOD SURROUNDS ME WITH HIS PEOPLE
Selfishness, like all brokenness that we experience in life, cannot be dealt with in isolation. “Me-centered” living only perpetuates unless we invite others to be personal spokespeople for what we’ve discussed thus far. What I mean by that is that we need people - and I believe God provides and surrounds us with people - who will step into our lives and put themselves in the line of fire when they see us choosing “self” over “God” or “others.” We need people who will call self-centered living for what it is – and point us continually toward the path of a God-centered existence.
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