Church yesterday was a battle for me. OK, to be more exact – it wasn’t church but it was the sermon itself…which is ironic because preaching isn’t something someone forces on me – it’s what God has called me to do. So this “struggle” was all internal. It was me. It was my insecurities and admitting them in front of people that I know need to hear it but I didn’t want to share it. Let me take that back. I WANTED to share it when I wrote it…but standing up front with everyone listening I KNEW it was the right words and the Holy Spirit moving me to share but that doesn’t mean it was any easier. My battles are my battles – even when I know others struggle I would still much prefer to keep them MY battles. And I know I’m a hypocrite because I want people to share with me…I just don’t necessarily want to share those same details with you. It’s nothing against you…it’s purely me. I realize that. But that pill I need to swallow is massive.
Which brings me to me writing today: I’m an idiot. I don’t even know how to take a spoonful of my own medicine. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve told my kids “It’s not about you” when it comes to life. I’ve lost track how many conversations I’ve had with people about what it looks like to give up who you are for someone else. What it looks like to put others before you. What it looks like to live a life in sacrifice to others as Christ has done for you. As Christ did for the Church. It’s not about you! It’s not about me! And yet so often I find I make it about me. So often I find that I hold back because of my own insecurities. My own struggles. My own battles. Even when I’ve been proven time and time again that IN MY SHARING AND ADMITTING that people have been helped and God has been glorified…I still don’t like to swallow that pill!
Which now brings me to the point: IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. It’s about you. And I would tell you it’s not about you…it’s about me and others that are not you.
Paul, in 2 Cor 2:5-11, writes to a group of people that are dealing with pain and sin. Dealing with the hurt and pain that one person caused and the destruction that they left. And everyone is angry and hurt. However Paul pulls them away (and himself for that matter) from focusing on the self and asks them to push beyond and go towards others. Essentially, Paul is asking them to not think about themselves and to think of the offender. Why? Because they are called to forgive. Because they are called to comfort. Because they are called to love. Because we are to do all of these as Christ has done for us. Basically – they need to think about someone else and not themselves. It’s not about them and they cannot make it about themselves. Again, be as Christ was and is for if we don’t then we actually go the opposite direction and we become as Satan is and desires us to be.
Now I’m not saying we simply forgive and forget – I don’t think Paul is either. I think what Paul is getting at is that forgiveness moves beyond the self and is offered up outside of self – even when it’s tough. Even when it’s painful. Because in order to “forgive” one has to understand that you are doing this for someone else and their benefit – not yours. My sharing of my struggle yesterday at church in the sermon was done not because I needed to “get over it” and it was part of a 3 step process for me but it was simply because I needed to share it because people needed to hear it. Needed to get it. My reason for sharing came from the understanding that I know, even though it doesn’t make it any easier, but I know that my struggle is not unique. And ultimately… I am working on tasting my own medicine and realizing that in all things – it’s not about me. It’s about you. And I think if we begin to live our lives with that understanding and that battle cry (worst “battle cry” ever by the way – I cannot see that yell, nor that type of sacrificial action ever winning any wars)…then we could begin to do some great things in the Kingdom of God. I think when we begin to live a life of “you” instead of “me” then more people would be fed. More hurt would be worked towards reconciliation. More lost would be found. More love would be given. More appreciation would be received. More hatred would be infected with love. More conversations would be had. Less fighting would take place. More listening and less talking would happen. More Christ would come through.
You, me, and everyone else…we were not meant to go at this life alone. We walk it together which means we must actually WALK it together…but how can one do that if they don’t share? If they don’t lift each other up and share life. If we don’t put you above me?
This seems easier said than done – but nobody ever said that that large pill had to be swallowed whole right now. So I think I will take little bites and ask you to be patient with me as I will be patient with you. And this pill? There is plenty to go around…so I will share it with you too. Bon appetit!
Just My 2 Cents and Thoughts