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Monday, February 5, 2024

It’s Not About Me

In 2 Corinthians 4:5 it says, “Our message is not about ourselves. It is about Jesus Christ as the Lord. We are your servants for his sake.” (GW)

The more I lead a self-focused life, the more I’m prone to discouragement. Every time I forget that it’s not about me, I’m going to get prideful or fearful or bitter. Those feelings will always lead to discouragement because they keep me focused on myself.

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:5, “Our message is not about ourselves. It is about Jesus Christ as the Lord. We are your servants for his sake” (GW).

It’s not about me! God put me on this earth, and he has a message he wants to declare to the world through me. But my life message is not about me. It’s about Jesus Christ.

Rick Warren chose the four words—“It’s not about you”—to start The Purpose Driven Life book because that’s the most countercultural message you could give in today’s world. Nearly everything in society—songs, video games, TV shows, news stories, and advertisements—says we’ve got to think about ourselves first.

Rick says that sometimes he wished he hadn’t put that sentence in the book because he had no idea that, for the rest of his life, he was going to be constantly tested on that phrase. He says he has to repeat it to himself 20 times a day! When someone praises, criticizes, misjudges, or disagrees with him, he has to remind himself, “It’s not about me.” Why? Because when he focuses on himself, he’s going to get discouraged.

Instead, as Paul says in today’s verse, we are servants for Jesus’ sake. That means we are motivated to serve others because of what Jesus has done for us.

God is always more interested in why I’m doing what I’m doing than he is in what I’m actually doing. He cares about the motivations of my heart. Why I’m doing something always determines how long I’m going to do it. If I’m motivated by selfish ambition, that will never be good enough. I’ll eventually get discouraged and quit. I shouldn’t try to overwhelm them but rather lead them into a safe, trusting space full of possibility for the future. 

This speaks to me this morning. As a coach, I shouldn’t be trying to sell coaching when that’s not what people want in their lives. I shouldn’t try to sell myself and my skills. I will most benefit my clients by creating a relationship with them. My time with them should be to encourage, motivate, and shape their perspectives and values

But when I’m motivated to do something because of how it advances the Gospel and glorifies Jesus, I will have the encouragement I need to see it through.

The focus of Paul's preaching was Christ and not himself. When I witness or work with people, I tell people about what Christ has done and not about my abilities and accomplishments. People must be introduced to Christ, not to me. And if I hear someone preaching about himself on his own ideas rather than about Christ, beware--he is a false teacher.

Paul willingly served the Corinthian church even though the people must have deeply disappointed him. Serving people requires a sacrifice of time and personal desires. Being Christ's follower means serving others, even if and when they do not measure up to my expectations.