The world has freely given us all of the avenues we could possibly ever need to exalt ourselves higher than our own good.
Facebook offers us a little box asking us what is on our minds (dangerous question now a days).
Twitter gives us 140 characters to think of the most clever “tweet” to earn the most “retweets”, and gather as many “followers” as we possibly can (and if your number of followers far exceeds the amount of those YOU follow, well than, you’ve arrived my friend. You’ve arrived).
Instagram has provided us with hours of “entertainment” as we scroll through random pictures of people's coffee, outfits of the day, food choices, endless selfies, and then gives us the option to share OUR photos also (oh, videos too. Can’t forget that wonderful option of filtered fun.)
Snapchat offers us yet another option to remove ourselves even further from enjoying time with others by recording every moment to indirectly share with "friends" (and of course we all know it is used for unmentionable other things. Yet, I must admit, I have never downloaded this app so I am speaking merely from hear-say).
Ok, so what is my ultimate point to this rant?
Every second of our day proclaims, “Tell the world about, YOU!”
Our thoughts consume the constant idea that everyone is extremely interested in us, our ideas, our looks, our jobs, and our lives. Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way trying to convince you to hide under a rock and live a simple life away from the world. That would be a waste of what God has created you to be. I am, however, offering you to do what you do without stopping to think about what you can benefit from it. I am expanding on the idea that maybe, just maybe, you can set this world on fire for God without ever taking any of His glory. Because let's just be honest here for a second; the way this world has us thinking is a result of what we have been believing. We are encouraged to bring ourselves up to a higher level while using other people as our staircase to elevate us there. Inevitably, we are our own biggest promoter. We are our own biggest idols…ugh…I mean "followers".
How incredibly sad.
We have dumbed ourselves down and robbed our hearts of the pure satisfaction and joy of shifting our attention and focus on the things that truly matter; God and others.
When did we become so disconnected from the Truth?
The fact that we exist upon this Earth has nothing to do with us.
This is quite shocking I know, and I hate to be the one to deliver this mind-blowing news, but someone needs to say it. We have been given talents, abilities, and giftings to make this world a better place. The most precious thing to the heart of God is people. This tells me that we have been entrusted with a big commission. To take care of others, love them unconditionally, and ensure that they make it home to eternity. What an honor. But how can we effectively do this when our eyes are continuously focused on ourselves? It's really very simple. And since we all love lists, I broke it down and squeezed it into 10 little steps.
10 WAYS TO LIVE SELFLESS IN A SELF-DRIVEN WORLD
1. Be a Giver. Does someone need a coat? Give them yours. Does someone drive long distances every day? Fill up their tank. Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant, buy someone’s groceries in line at the store. Even more, find a homeless shelter or ministry that specializes in helping the poor and invest your finances and/or your time. Find the need, meet the need.
Proverbs 19:17 - Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
2. Exhort and uplift others. Every time you feel the need to exalt yourself in any way, shape or form, instead make it a point to compliment and affirm someone else. If you can remind someone of how incredible they are, you can inspire them to be who God has called them to be. Highlighting the gifts and celebrating others over exalting yourself, positions your focus back to where God intended it: love through humility.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
3. Bring God the glory. It's all about Him and it will always be about Him. Talk about the blessings of God rather than how much God is just blessing you. There is a wide chasm of difference between the two. It all comes down to motives. Do you boast in what God has done so eyes will look up to Him, or instead fall upon you? Consider Jesus, for example. He relentlessly spoke of the wonderful things His Father had done, yet never turned the finger to point back to Himself. He found the way of testifying to all of the miracles, all the while, never stealing an ounce of credit from the One whom had given Him the power. Yes, God was glorified IN Jesus, but Jesus loved God far too much to try and sit on His rightful thrown. We should live the same.
1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
4. Live to serve. I will tell you this, a servant's heart is precious in the sight of God. Set out on a mission to serve others in a selfless way and in doing so, you will refrain from the appeal of wanting to be noticed and esteemed in the process. Serve at a non-profit, head to your home church and sign up to help on Sunday mornings, sit with someone who needs an ear to listen, give your time out of love without the thought of being reimbursed. The Kingdom you serve is not about how much you gain. It is about how much you pour out.
Mark 9:35 - And He sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.
5. Ask questions. This is actually very simple. When speaking to others, show sincere interest and ask questions pertaining to them, rather than talking about you, you, you. When you decide that what others have to offer is valuable, you will be more inclined to listen.
Proverbs 5:1 - Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.
6. Pray for someone. Lift a prayer that brings no personal gain. Can you imagine? So many have no knowledge of such a thing! Call up a friend or approach a stranger and ask if you can pray for them. This may easily bring you out from your comfort zone, but remember, no great things have ever been done in comfort zones anyway. Your faith in prayer could bring someone the greatest miracle they have ever encountered.
Philippians 2:3-4 - Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
7. Write a thank you note. Tell someone who has impacted your life in an unforgettable way what they have done and how much they mean to you. A friend, mentor, teacher, parent, sibling, pastor, etc. Taking a few moments to show gratitude is a wonderful way to magnify God's love through others.
1 Timothy 2:1 - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.
8. Put the phone down. Take a day to refrain from posting anything on any type of social media and instead, enjoy everything and everyone around you without distractions. We miss so many beautiful moments while trying to capture them for everyone else to see. How ironic?
Proverbs 4:25 - Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions.
9. Get into the Word of God. Open up your Bible. Even more specifically, open your Bible to the New Testament and focus your attention on all that Jesus did. This in itself will teach you true humility, love, and how to live life the way God intended.
Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
10. Share the Gospel with someone. I have left the absolute best for last. There is no better gift and no greater privilege than sharing the Truth of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. Whether it is a family member or a stranger at the gas station, stir up the boldness and confidence that you think you don’t have, and strike up a conversation that will save their life. The ultimate gift is pointing others to the One whom gives life back. The one whom loves us first and has loved us greatest.
Mark 16:15 - And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."
These are only a few, among many ways, to begin to shut down the idol of “Me” and direct your focus on others and making a difference in this world. I invite you to start today. It’s really never too late, so start a movement and make a difference. Go against the ways of the world! And besides, who knows how many people are watching you and will follow your lead as you follow Christ? Change has to begin somewhere…why not with you?