Life Is Not All About Me
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
I can know something to be true while at the same time, wanting something very different. I know that I’m supposed to love God above all, and I understand that I’m to love my neighbor as myself, but this is not how I want to live. It’s simply my nature to follow me. I don’t get up in the morning and think, What can I do to serve God and my fellow man? No, I get up and I think, What do I want today?
In today’s passage, a lawyer accurately summed up the Jewish law in saying that we must love God above all, and that we must love our neighbors as ourselves. Jesus commended his summation, teaching that we must live counterintuitively to our nature. You are not at the center of the universe. Life is not all about you. You must live for God and others, not for yourself (my paraphrase). This is the complete opposite though of how we’re wired.
Loving God above all means that I follow and obey his way instead of my own. This means that in all decisions, I look, not to my own preference, but to his. It’s not, What do I want? But rather, What does God want?
Loving my neighbor means that I treat those around me as I would want to be treated. I’m not to serve only myself, but to serve those around me. The love that God has shown me is to flow out of me into the lives of those he’s put in my path.
I believe I’m supposed to live like this. The problem, as I said, is that I don’t want to live like this. I want to do things my way. My way though, has been proven to be a disaster. I’m never going to get it perfect in this life, but daily, I must work at changing my attitude and behavior. By continually turning from my path to follow God’s, he fills me with his Spirit, transforming my desires so that I want his will more than mine. This is the miracle of transformation at it is the only path to true life. This is what happens when I accept that the world doesn’t revolve around me.