Once again, I find myself focused on myself. My needs. My wants. My way of doing things. I find myself absorbed in my own world of, well, of me. And when someone or something tries to interrupt this universe that revolves around Megan – you better watch out… because it ain’t gonna be pretty. Even if it is just within my own head, there’s an ugly, prideful battle raging.
And I think if you were honest with yourself, you probably find yourself in this same self-centered place more often than you’d like to admit too (please tell me I’m not the only one!). It’s pretty much a staple in humans, this tendency to lean towards selfishness (hello, sin). But if you are a believer, you know that this is the opposite of what you are called to in Christ. In Christ you are called to lay yourself aside for the sake of others. You are called to love others more than you love yourself. You are called to serve others before you serve yourself.
Romans 12:10 tells us to “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” And at first glance I think we see this verse and consider it a pretty easy command. Love, honor… sure! But it’s the other words in there that make it hard. Like, “devote“, which means “give all or a large part of one’s time or resources to (a person, activity, or cause).” So we’re not just talking about loving people when it’s easy, or convenient, or when they are likable, or when you are “feeling it”. The kind of love this verse is talking about means giving all of yourself over to love. Basically throwing all of your time, energy, resources, and heart into loving not only those that love you back, but everyone God puts in your path. Then there’s another little word in there: “above“. Paul writes and tells us not just to honor others, but to honor them above ourselves. Meaning other people aren’t just to get our leftovers. They are to get our best. We are supposed to make their needs (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) our top priority. We are supposed to be championing them and valuing them more than we champion and value ourselves (side note: this does not mean completely neglecting yourself).
But if you have spent any time in church or in the Bible, you have already heard all of this before. So if we know that we are supposed to love and serve and focus on others, why do we continually find ourselves back in our me-centered world? Because just like pretty much every aspect of our Christian walk, we need constant reminding. We need the truth of the gospel and God’s Word preached to ourselves daily. Romans 12:2 tells us our minds need to be renewed (over and over again).
And this is exactly why I have created the “Loving Others” Scripture series – to be constantly reminded of how God has called us to imitate Christ and trade our self-centeredness for others-centeredness. Over the next several weeks, this is going to be our focus here at The Bigger Picture Project. I have compiled a list of verses all about this topic, and all of our social media posts, blog posts, and BPP network emails will be focused on using Scripture to remind and encourage myself and anyone else who cares to join, to live a life of radical, sacrificial, others-centered love.
I hope you will join me!