I loved the age when both of my sons began discovering their voices. The string of syllables followed by first words and eventually a full sentence mesmerized this momma’s heart. As they both became toddlers, a little competition developed between the two of them. One of the favorite phrases they used to vocalize their dominance was “Me first!” Because as you know, sliding down the slide first is always best. Or taking a turn first on a bike or a riding toy declares everyone will look at you proudly. Me first describes an attitude that points the spotlight on yourself as well as the idea that you know better so going first is a given.
While pondering the phrase “Me first”, I kept circling back to how our world centers it’s focus on this very idea. There are ads, social media, TV shows all promoting a culture of taking care of ourselves over others. But I wonder what happened to highlighting the “good news” rather than just our personal good news?
Jesus came to share the good news. The Gospel is a story of redemption in the messiness, grace over condemnation, hope over despair and truth over the lies the enemy tries to make us believe. What difference would it make if little by little, our corner of the world spread the good news of Jesus and others before shining the light on ourselves? Is this possible?
Sometimes I wonder whether how we are wired leads us closer to a good news culture or farther away. Is “Me first” so ingrained in our personalities that anything else is difficult?
Many summers ago, when I volunteered to help at SOS (Summer of Service) for middle school and high school age kids at my church, the theme revolved around “I am third”. This has stuck with me even though I am not always good at this in my own life. Instead of focusing on “me first”, we are called to look to God first, others second, and ourselves third. Wow, let that sink in for a minute!
I know that as hard as it it to let go of certain things, God continues to call us to follow His path. He has written an amazing story for each of us. A story of our redemption and so much grace. In order to live our own stories fully, let’s consider the following:
A “me first” story causes us to miss out on the fulfilling story God has already written.
Do we really have as much to offer without the salvation God promised us?
Many times what we see in the mirror is not up to worldly standards. Instead of reaching for the best we can be, we get stuck in being not enough. There is no joy and hope in a story like that. God wrote our stories laced with hope and joy.
I am purely talking out loud to myself right now. All I know is that my life is so much better with God walking by my side. As I maneuver the path He has set for me, I veer in the wrong direction at times, but He always grabs me by the hand and gently pulls me back on track. God loves doing this for all of us. He wants to see us loving our neighbor as an everyday act of worship. Oh the smile that brings to His face!
In our “me first” generation, let’s stretch out our arms to embrace others before always focusing on ourselves. Let’s love with a BIG love that honors God and the people we are loving.
I am praying these words for everyone today. May we know how much love God put into our stories and whenever, we struggle, He knows us better than we know ourselves. He has planned so much good for us!
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:26-28 MSG
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