“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Philippians 3:8
One of my all-time favorite memories about our kids was the time my then 7-year-old daughter Libby asked, “Daddy, are we famous?” My immediate response was, “No, Libby, we’re not famous.” She thought about it for a second and indignantly said, “Well, we would be if more people knew about us!”
I could hardly contain the laughter. Poor Libby, only 7, and already wondering and worried about herself—whether people liked us, or whether or not a lot of people knew about us! Poor Libby, already tied up in the world of “me”! And, unfortunately, this preoccupation with herself is something she will never grow out of, because we all struggle with the irresistible gravity of “me” and the tendency to live as though life is indeed all about “me”!
But I need to tell you, if life is going to be all about you, then someday you will be bored to tears. Listen carefully: If you think you are cool enough to entertain yourself with yourself for your entire life, you are wrong. I want to be gentle here, but no one is special enough to enthrall themselves with themselves for the rest of their lives!
I’m in my sixties, and I have to admit that I am already getting tired of me. I am tired of trying to deal with the insecurities that have haunted me for years. Tired of the failures in my life that I think I have finally gotten victory over just to have them pop up again. Tired of the carnal way I feel when people talk about their favorite preacher and it’s not me! Tired of looking in the rearview mirror and wishing I had done things differently. Tired of the awkward way I feel on those rare occasions when people praise me. I am just flat out getting tired of me.
But after sixty years I have to say that I never get tired of Jesus! I never get tired of praising Him and hearing Him praised. I still stand amazed at His unusual grace and mercy that He continues to pour out on me daily. As life goes on, I find Jesus to be more adventuresome, interesting, challenging, fresh, and compelling than ever before. I continue to find Him wonderfully different—anything but boring! No wonder Paul said that he counted even the best things about himself like dung compared to the surpassing value of getting to know Jesus (Philippians 3:7-8)!
When we’re young, we’re bullet proof. We think we’ll live forever. But when you get to be my age, you can see your mortality approaching on the horizon. It’s not difficult to see yourself someday sitting alone in the corner of a room at the nursing home waiting for the lunch bell to ring. And, if life has been all about you, that’s going to be a really bad day because there’s nothing left of you that’s worth getting excited about! But if your life has been all about Jesus, it will be a really good day because Jesus will be just as wonderful as He ever has been. And you might just hear Him whisper in your heart, “You’re almost home!”—which would be far better than hearing the lunch bell ring!
You get to choose: Will your life be about Him, or you? Choose Jesus and enjoy the rest of the journey!
- In what ways does your life seem to be all about you—with your money, your relationships, your dreams and desires?
- Can you identify with Joe when he says that if life is going to be all about you, you’ll be bored to tears?
- If your life were all about Jesus, what specific differences would be evident in your friendships, with your enemies, in the way you manage your money, in your family?