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.