Being self-centered means I’m afraid I’m the only one who can take care of me.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Being self-centered is not a good way to live.
I know first-hand the truth of this.
I’d tell you about it, but that would be pretty self-centered of me, wouldn’t it?
Suffice it to say that I was pretty self-centered when I was younger.
But St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians finally hit home in my heart after years of living as if everything, for the most part, was about me.
This happened about the same time that I was married to Nancy, and that’s a good thing (God-thing?), too!
Being married – successfully and blessedly – requires leaving behind self-centered ways. Marriages where one or both of the spouses are self-centered tend to not last very long.
Being a Christian is like being married. In fact, St. Paul uses this very picture – that of marriage – to describe the relationship that Christ has with us in his Epistle to the Ephesians.
In Galatians Paul makes it clear that we no longer live. That is, live for ourselves. In Romans 6, St. Paul says that when we are baptized, we are baptized into Jesus’ death. We are buried with Jesus. And when Jesus rose from the dead, we also rise – through Baptism.
We become born again, which is the way Jesus puts it in John 3.
When we were born the first time, we were born with a natural inclination to be selfish and self-centered. Babies, from the day they are born, cry when they want to be fed, when they want to be held, when they want something.
Their cry is their way of saying, “Pay attention to me!” And unless we are born again, that is the way we will live most of our lives, “Pay attention to me!”
But when we are born again by the Holy Spirit working through the Means of Grace we live differently. We live as if someone else matters more than we do. And it is true. We live as if Christ matters more, as if our neighbors matter more. St. Paul says that this is because Christ now lives in us.
Jesus put God and others before himself. He said that he had come to do his Father’s will. He said he came to serve and not to be served.
And now, through Baptism, he lives in us.
So now we live to do the Father’s will. We live to serve and not be served.
By the way, we don’t have to worry or be afraid that we won’t be taken care of, that our needs won’t be met. God promises that he will take care of us, that he will provide all that we need to support our body and life.
God keeps his promises. Christ lives in us. We don’t need to ever be afraid!
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus who lives in us. Help me to do your will and to serve others and to never be afraid; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
© 2017 True Men Ministries