To me, taking a selfie is a weird concept. We all take selfies, but have you ever thought about exactly what is happening there? A selfie is a photo of yourself, that you take yourself. So instead of asking someone to take a photo of you, you just do it yourself. We have gotten to a point that someone invented a selfie stick, so you can take a picture of yourself, but from further away, so you can see more than just your face. Because of this, the art of asking people to take a photo is lost. We rarely interact with people anyway, so we assume it will be awkward. So instead, we just flip to our front facing camera, and snap away.
I know this is just a picture, but I think it is a good illustration for our culture as a whole. We are very self-reliant and self-centered. We think about us and do for us. Our natural inclination is to take care of us, and use whatever energy is left to maybe look out for others. We tend to do whatever it takes to provide for ourselves, even if this hurts others. Our culture puts thoughts in our heads like:
- Want to be satisfied? Buy something.
- Want to move up? Step on people to do so.
- Want to be great? Good, you already are.
- Want to be happy? Happiness is a world revolving around you.
This isn’t the life Jesus wants for us.
The main problem with a self-centered life is that Jesus calls us to be different. Jesus was, and still is, all about flipping culture on its head and showing people that how culture operates isn’t how He operates. The best example of this is a passage of scripture we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” This was a time where Jesus got up to teach a crowd of people, and He took what they believed to be true, and He told them how God feels about these things. I would encourage you to take 10-15 minutes to read it. It’s a powerful message.
When Jesus kicks off the sermon on the mount, He starts with something we call the Beatitudes. These are basically statements about happiness. He is sharing how people can be truly happy. Surprisingly, He never says anything about buying things or having more money. He starts with a simple statement:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Translation: happy are the humble. Where was humility on the list of what is important and meaningful to our culture? It wasn’t there because this is not a popular opinion. Jesus is saying that a life of not trying to have it all together is where happiness is. Happiness isn’t found in faking perfection or buying more things; happiness is found in understanding you are not the center of the universe. When we are the center of our universe, we place ourselves in the place of God in our lives. And if we are honest, we make a horrible God.
As followers of Christ, we are called to be set apart. We are called to be salt and light, not to blend in. Jesus requires that we are different, and what is more different than being humble and not thinking of yourself? My favorite definition of humility is, “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Humility is placing others first. That is how you can be light to a dark world: not by telling them everything you know about the Bible, but by loving them and placing their needs above your own. Philippians 2:3-4 says it this way:
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Humility is how we live a selfless life. It is how we love people like Jesus did. Humility is the foundation of the life that Jesus calls us to live. It is where transparency starts. It is where forgiveness starts. It is where trusting God’s plan starts. Humility is where following Jesus starts. We must humble ourselves and admit we don’t have it all together, and we must know that Jesus says that is okay. That is what grace is for.
Not only did Jesus teach this, but He lived this. He was never too busy to help others. He was never so consumed with His own needs that He missed others needs. He was always looking for others to serve. Think about it this way: He was God. People should be serving Him. He should never lift a finger. However, He wasn’t about that. After all, He came to earth through a barn. The Creator of everything was born in a barn. He was always about humility.
So how do we do this? I think it starts by looking around. Start seeing people as valuable and important, because thats how Jesus sees them. Start looking to see where you can serve others, and not just yourself. Stop acting like the world revolves around you, and allow Jesus to sit in the seat as the God. My challenge this week is to think of yourself less. Everyday, do one thing that serves others. I guarantee that you’ll be more fulfilled and happier doing that rather than serving yourself. After all, “Happy are the humble.”
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.