One of the greatest revelations that I have ever received is that it’s not about me. I know that much of the Bible talks about what God has done for me through the death, burial, resurrection, ascension and seating of Jesus at the right of hand of God. But, once I have received what Jesus has done for me and have been born again, making me a child of God, life is no longer about me.
The struggle to be and to obtain is the way of the world. The constant scheming and positioning for status and power consumes the world and many Christians.
We have a great example of this in the gospel of Matthew. As recorded in Matthew 20:20-28, James and John brought their mother to Jesus to ask for special important places in His coming kingdom.
Matthew 20:20-21 ESV Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. (21) And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom."
When the other 10 disciples heard about this request they were furious. Why? Maybe they were wanting the same positions? Maybe this type of one-upmanship was common among these where on the ministry staff of the Lord Jesus? Regardless of the reason, the Scripture points out that they were moved in their emotions over this incident.
Jesus is quick to call them together for a staff meeting and to refocus them on how He lived and ministered.
Matthew 20:25 (ESV) But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.”
Here we see His observation on how the world separated from God’s way, Gentiles, operates. The world lords over and exercises authority over others. The reason they do this is to maintain their status and position. It is a selfish type of life.
We have seen this way of life increase in our society. The “Me Generation” espoused the philosophy of you’ve got to take care of number one, you, above all else. At its root is the belief that no else cares for me. With that belief in place each one must do whatever is necessary to others to get what they need no matter what it costs. But Jesus has a different and better way.
Matthew 20:26-28 (MKJV) However, it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. (27) And whoever desires to be chief among you, let him be your servant; (28) even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Status power, and greatness, in the God’s Kingdom is accomplished by serving others. Greatness is not how many people serve you. The greatest person who has ever walked this earth, lived the God kind of life and served others. He did not demand others serve him. His life and ministry were not about Him. He came to give His life, not enhance His life. He came to lift others, not be lifted.
In the margin of my Bible, I have been writing the phrase “Not About Me” next to verses that help me live a life of serving. I am determined to live this life the way God intended me to live it. I am finding the more I make it about others the more my needs are met through my union with Him. My desire for status and power are satisfied by the Well of Living Water that is in me that quenches every personal thirst that I have.
Here are a few of those scripture references. Let these help you in your selfless life. I have made bold the portion of the verse that applies to “Not About Me.”
Mark 3:14 (ESV) And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.
Romans 12:3 (ESV) For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Romans 13:10 (ESV) Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 15:1-2 (ESV) We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (2) Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
1 Corinthians 3:7 (ESV) So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 9:19 (ESV) For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
1 Corinthians 10:24 (ESV) Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
1 Corinthians 10:33 (ESV)Just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
2 Corinthians 5:15 (ESV) And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
Galatians 5:13 (ESV) For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Galatians 6:1-3 (ESV) Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. (2) Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (3) For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
These are just a few of the many verses that have helped me. Start with these if you want, but I encourage you to make your own list. Keep this in the forefront of your thinking and let the Holy Spirit lead you to verses you need.
Remember, its “Not About Me!”