April 19, 2009

The ME Monster

This morning we began our brand new series, Monsters. We kicked it off (very appropriately, I think) by unmasking the Me Monster - "self-centeredness". This is an ugly thing when it starts to manifest itself in our lives - whether in our words, thoughts or actions. And most of us have been guilty of becoming the victim of the Me Monster. But that doesn't mean we have to make a regular habit of it. We are not born or stuck with this trait - it's a decision. We decide who's most important.

We took a look at a great example of this in 1 Kings 12 with the story of Rehoboam. As he becomes king he has the opportunity to put his people before himself. They ask him to "lighten the load" a little. Rehoboam appears to wisely seek counsel in making this decision, but in reality we find out that he's really just looking for someone to tell him what he wants to hear - he's waiting on someone to tell him it's OK to think of himself first. Bad choice! As a result, his people abandon him, they stone his advisor to death, and he is left with only a remnant of the nation. Rehoboam's self-centeredness - his unwillingness to humbly put his people first - ultimately results in his own humiliation. And if you think humbling yourself is painful, it's nothing compared to the sting of humiliation.

When we look at Romans 12:9-10, Galatians 5:24-6:3, and Philippians 2:1-11, we begin to realize that as Christ-followers we are called to a life of leaving ME behind in order to put others first. No one ever set this example the way Christ did (see Philippians 2:5-11). We are called to love one another in a way that moves far beyond our words. We are called to choose a path that will often be inconvenient & messy - it will at times mess up our schedule and our clothes. But this is the way of Christ.

So as we asked this morning I ask you now, who is influencing you? Whose counsel are you seeking or listening to. Who does your life most reflect right now? The Me Monster? or Jesus Christ? [Are you just reading this - or are you allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart about those questions?]

Remember: When the most important person on the planet is ME, it's very difficult to be a follower of Jesus Christ.


Jan said...

Hey Brian, I do a worship confessional every sunday afternoon on my blog. You should check out what my "Takeaways" were! :) You'll have to forgive my paraphrasing. I don't know if you read my blog or not but if you are going to write each week I'll link to yours as well so people can get a good feel for the services and hear your own thoughts.

Fred McKinnon said...

Glad you're blogging it out ... found it via Jan's Worship Confessional post ... I know they are so happy to have you there!

God bless, tons!
For the Kingdom,
Fred McKinnon

Preston N said...

"If the benevolence manifested in the atonement does not subdue the selfishness of sinners, their case is hopeless" - Charles G. Finney. From what I have learned over the years it is impossible for a person to be in right relationship with Christ and still see themselves as first - it is simply impossible. God's Spirit will not compete with our selfishness. Either we are in total sweet submission to Christ or we are in selfish rebellion, but neither can co-exist simulataneously.