I’ve often heard preachers say, “It’s not about you,” in a tone that claims the statement is a truism we should all accept without question. “It’s all about what God wants.” Okay, let’s suppose it’s true. Now I have to ask, “What’s in it for me?”
Like it or not, I’m the center of my universe. My happiness, hurts, and hang-ups reside in me. My hunger for satisfaction, for meaning in life, to fulfill a purpose, to answer the questions I don’t even know how to ask—all this and more centers around me, nobody else.
I’m not going to say, “It’s not about me,” unless I see more benefit in serving others than in having others serve me. The Bible says we won’t come to God unless we see the reward in doing so (Hebrews 11:6). The same is true for all relationships. To have a friend, we must be a friend, focusing our time, money, and attention on others instead of ourselves. (Proverbs 18:24).
We can give to get, or we can get to give. I will choose the path I believe is most valuable. Doesn’t everybody? Therein lies the problem. When we give to get, it’s not enough. Solomon said he had tried it all—wine, women, and song, but in the end, there was still emptiness, a need for something more, something that truly satisfies (Ecclesiastes 2:3–11).
Maybe we should take to heart what Jesus had to say. The greatest blessing comes from giving (Acts 20:35).
We can’t earn love. We can only give it.