It’s Not About Me

Chan Image

Several years ago, my pastor told me something that rocked my world: It’s not all about me.

Yes, I wake up in my bed and walk each day in my shoes. I see the world through my eyes and I’m the person I know most intimately. I feed my belly. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and when I hit my thumb with a hammer, I am the one who feels it. But in spite of the fact that my whole life seems to revolve around me, it’s not all about me.

I am here for a purpose and that purpose isn’t to build the biggest castle for myself, collect the most riches, or be the most famous. My purpose isn’t to feel happy and satisfied all of the time.

But if my purpose isn’t about me, then what is it?

Francis Chan says it like this: “The Holy Spirit has given you the supernatural ability to serve the people God has placed around you. If God cares enough about His church to give you this Spirit-empowered ability, shouldn’t you care enough about the church to use that gift for the same purpose?”

I want to break that down a little bit.

When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, I worried about what my life would be like here. In North Carolina, I had my parents close by to take care of me. They didn’t hesitate to fill my freezer when the budget was tight. Or cut my grass when I was working overtime. Or dog-sit for me when I went out of town. But when I moved 3,000 miles away from that safety net, I worried. I knew I had friends out here, but you can only inconvenience your friends so much before they stop answering your calls. And I just didn’t know how I was going to make it all by myself.

But God told me something that has turned out to be true. (Imagine that!) I keep it posted on my refrigerator to remind myself.

Blog Quote

Those of us who have been hurt by churches might read Chan’s words above and say with pain-filled, anger-laced words, “I don’t need the church and I don’t have anything for them.” But the truth is that all of us together are the church, whether we meet over ice cream, on a hiking trail, or in pews with hymn books. The “church” is just wherever the people of God come together to love on each other. And I’m blessed to be part of a huge church that isn’t dictated by walls and doors. Instead, it has open hands reaching all over the world and includes members that don’t even attend traditional services. But the people have the love of Christ and show it to each other. And if was only about me, then I wouldn’t be doing my job.

Now, trust me when I say that I am still selfish. But I’m trying –with the power of the Holy Spirit (because I can’t do it myself)—to use the energy I have each day to love others and help them. And it works so much better when I don’t try to have an agenda about it. You see, I think I know my strengths and I try to play to those strengths because they are where I’m comfortable and where I feel safe. But guess what? I have gifts I didn’t even realize I had. And when I stop limiting myself to what’s comfortable for me and what I think I’m good at, it’s amazing what happens.

This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Francis Chan’s book, “Forgotten God.” You don’t have to read the book to hang out and chat with us. But if you did write a response to this week’s chapter, make sure you go link up on the widget that’s at Jason’s this week. 

About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    Amen….to all you said..

  2. Progress, not perfection – do the bit set before you today. Then again tomorrow. One day at a time until one day you realize “Hey! I’ve grown when I wasn’t looking!” – then go back to not looking at you and looking for Him. Good post :-)

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Rick, it’s when I look at the BIG picture that I get overwhelmed. Maybe that’s why I like mosaics so much. Because it’s a lot of tiny pieces that make up one big, pretty picture…

    And I have absolutely no idea why WordPress keeps making me approve your comments. I think it’s a conspiracy of some kind… :-)

  4. I don’t worry about stuff like approval from WordPress when God’s Son has already approved me :-)

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    It made me approve that one, too… *sigh*

  6. I’m working on it from the backside as I type this :-)

  7. So, let’s see if my theory is correct :-)

  8. Sarah Salter says:

    I guess it depends on what your theory is… Also, I did NOT have to approve that comment. :-)

  9. Vicky Warrick says:

    Oh, my heart is full after reading this post this morning. I loved this! What never ceases to amaze me is your courage to tell your stories and that is wonderful because so many of us have the same stories.

  10. I like that quote as well as where he was talking about calling. It’s easy to say you’re called to where your family is or where you’re comfortable, but how would that place be different if you weren’t there? Using what the Spirit gives to bless and love others–that’s our business and mission. Thanks Sarah.

  11. Sarah, I love that saying on your refrigerator.

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