How do we, as believers, live for Christ in a world that constantly puts self first? Leslie Vernick addresses this highly relevant topic in her book, How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First World.
Our culture makes me the highest priority. From social media posts and selfies to the aisles of bookstores that are filled with self-help books – our individualistic, American culture calls us to be the best version of ourselves to the exclusion of God and others.
However, this hyper focus on self is one of Satan’s strategies to make us believe that we are the center of our own universe. As a result, we find that depression, loneliness, and suicide have increased dramatically in the last 20 years.
This focus on self becomes dangerous because we become self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-conscious. When this happens, we shift the attention from God to ourselves, and we become blind to our own weakness.
We must remember that:
- We are all broken.
- We have all fallen short.
- We all have areas where we don’t measure up.
- And more specifically, we all have selfish tendencies.
However, as followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit reveals our shortcomings to us. When He does, we are be able to put others first – if we’re humble. Andrew Murray described humility as, “The displacement of self by the enthronement of God.”
That’s the essence of humility.
- Thinking poorly of ourselves.
- Being shy.
- Having low self-esteem.
Humilityisa recognition of our place in the hands of a sovereign God.
And you know what? I am so thankful that this life is not all about me. Humility gives me the freedom to be who I am – a broken human being who is loved and adored by God.
And when we are walking with the Lord, we find that there is an appropriate way to move from our false self to the true identity of who God created us to be. When we love ourselves well, we guard our hearts. We discipline ourselves. We put ourselves under gospel-centered teaching. And we allow people to hold us accountable. With these things, we can become our best selves in Christ.
Leslie Vernick is our guest on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Living for Christ in a Me-First World.” You can listen on your local radio station, online, oniTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app.
I’d also like to offer you Leslie’s book How to Find Selfless Joy in a Me-First Worldfor a gift of any amount. Visit our websiteor give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.