“It isn’t just about me anymore, y’know?”

Sitting in Panera here in K’Vegas (Knoxville, TN) doing some work on the upcoming Youth Sunday worship service and this lady is talking about how everything’s different post-kids, which is self-evident and, at times, excruciatingly true, of course, and she says, “It isn’t just about me anymore, y’know?”

Now, obviously, if you were to ask this lady point blank, “Did you ever really think it was just about you?” she would probably say, “Of course not.” But, her passing comment discloses what may have once been an assumption of her life and is indeed the guiding principle of many peoples’ lives, namely, that our lives are our own. As if the purpose of our existence is up to us.

Now, frankly, this is no indictment on this lady, really. I can imagine myself saying the same thing. My point has little to with this woman’s words, in particular, but what they point to, generally… that we talk and act like it was once about us. This denies that God made us. It’s a manner of speaking that discloses, albeit sometimes innocently, that we truly operate like we are allowed to make our own decisions.

But, the less we live, and talk, for that matter, as if it’s “our” life, the better. Paul expresses this idea clearly in Philippians 3:13-15:

(12) Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (13) Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (15) Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (English Standard Version)

The “this” in verse 12 is “righteousness from God” in the preceding verses. But the reason Paul works toward making that (or, “this”) his own is that Christ Jesus made him his (JC’s) own. I.e., our righteousness is not ours, but comes from God alone. And then, in verse 13, he (Paul) says even further, that he does not consider that he has made it his own. The righteousness Paul and all Christians claim is not our own. That’s why Paul can use phrases like being “bought with a price” (1Corinthian 6:19-20) when he speaks of what we do with our bodies:

(19) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, (20) for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (ESV)

If only we would continually seek to better illustrate with our lives’ resources that we are His and are not our own.

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