Years ago, I read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. It’s pretty hard to dispute what he has to say, because he keeps quoting the Bible to substantiate his points.
As I recall, he has a whole chapter titled “It’s Not about You.” That message can be quite a shock to my self-centered, self-serving ego, but it’s true. Jesus said life couldn’t be found in the abundance of our possessions (Luke 12:15). He said there’s greater blessing in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35).
Jesus made some really radical statements, but if I’m not careful, the words slip by as religious jargon, without my grasping the impact of what he said. I believe the most shocking exhortation the Jews ever heard was, “Love your enemies.” Really? People are supposed to do that? Surely not. The Jews understood justice as God gave it. The Law. We need an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
So my enemy strikes me. What am I to do, turn the other cheek? I’ve read what Jesus said several times. I’ve looked at the Greek text and twenty translations. That seems to be exactly what he was saying: “I say you should not try to get even. If people slap you on the cheek, do not retaliate, but allow them to slap the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39).
Remind me, now. Why would I do that? Oh, yeah, because I should love my enemies, those people who “curse me, hate me, spitefully use me, and persecute me” (Matthew 5:44). If I truly love them, then it’s impossible, at the same time, to want to see them hurt.
The more I practice loving everyone, including the undeserving, and especially those who oppose me and would do me harm, I experience more satisfaction in life than I ever dreamed was possible. No anger. No resentment. Just the experience of God’s love.
I agree with Rick Warren. It’s not about me. But if the hope of glory is Christ in us (Colossians 1:27), could we rightly say, “It’s All about We?”