One of my favorite books is written by Edward Welch entitled, “When People Are Big and God Is Small.” In this book, Dr. Welch talks a great deal about the sinfulness of fearing man and how, in fact, all of us struggle with this in some area of our lives. One of the areas that feeds into this sin is the “me” culture that we have inside and outside the church. He gives a powerful illustration as to how individualistic we are, even when we approach the Word of God. Our tendency is to think about “me” before “us.”
“For example, since our culture has taught us to think individually rather than corporately, we are prone to think about me rather than us. Our interpretation of “do not give the devil a foothold” (Eph. 4:27) is a classic illustration. This passage is consistently applied to the individual. That is, if you are sinfully angry, Satan will have some sort of control in your life. Although this may be true, the passage is speaking in the context of the church. Ephesians is about unity in the church. The foothold refers to Satan’s divisive influence in the body of Christ rather than Satan possessing an individual. The treatment is to hotly pursue unity in the church.”
I write this blog to encourage each of us to remember that this Christian life is not about us, it is about Christ. If you want to know what is on the next rung of the ladder below Christ…it is “others.” This will completely negate the idea of church, ministry, and in fact, life in general, being about me. It is amazing how many times we hear statements within the Body of Christ that actually state or imply “I have a right to say this about this person….” Or “I have a right to feel this way about this person.” Yet they never consider the weaker brother or sister, they never take into account that our rights were purchased at Calvary. The modern “feel good” theology that honors self more than the one true God, sees the unpardonable sin as to “suppress” your emotions. Why? Because emotions point to my need, and my needs are all that matters. If I “need” approval, love or praise to feel good about self, then inevitably I will be controlled by the person who dispenses the approval, love or praise. This will cripple me and force me to rely on someone other than Christ as my provider. I write this as an encouragement for all of us to live out the idea that my life is not MINE, it is His! I am His slave and should glory in that. Ministry, service, witnessing, church, and worship is not about me, it is about Him and then about others. When we believe this, we will behave this: when we behave this, we will find true joy!