It’s All About Me!

As we look around at the world around us we see a sad state of affairs.  Things seem to be getting worse and worse by the minute; evolution, homosexuality, premarital sex, degradation of the family unit, “tolerance” for other religions and beliefs, etc. You see the continued rise of sin and the continual push for everyone to say it is ok for them to do it.  Their argument, what is best for you doesn’t mean that it is for me, right?  We are told that as Christians we are intolerant, because we are against sin.  People say to us; who are you to tell others what is right and wrong?  Aren’t you supposed to love to everyone?  Aren’t you supposed to not judge others? More and more the scriptures that are thrown at us (even sometimes by other “Christians”) have been twisted.

It makes my heart hurt and head spin as I look around me sometimes.  I pray for change, I pray for revival, I pray that God would use me to make a difference, but discouragement (from the liar) tends to set in at times.  When I take it to God I get told over and over again that I need to change first and foremost, which is never easy.  I need to make sure that my life is a reflection of Him and that I am not harboring things in it that easily take me down.  I have to get my focus off of “ME” and turn it towards Him.  And then continue to take “ME” out of the equation and strive to be others first.

If you look at everything, our culture has become “me” first, instant gratification one.  People want what they want and they want it RIGHT NOW.  People make choices based on what is best for them at the time.  They don’t think consequences are relevant.  They don’t believe there is Truth.  Truth to them is dependent on the situation (also known as situational ethics), not on an absolute.  Technology, Facebook, and so much more has fed this beast.

Where did all of this start?  Where did everyone start out looking for what was best for them instead of what was right?  When did we become “me” first?  You have to look no further than the beginning of the Bible.  In fact, read Genesis 3 and you see where it all began.  You see the father of lies throw out the line that what is most important is “me” and what is best for “me”.  You see the fight to deny that “me” is in any way culpable for mistakes made and passing the blame, even blaming it on God.  After all, it is always someone else’s fault, right?  Let’s read the chapter and look at a few of the points together.

Genesis 3: The Fall

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (TEMPTATION, making Eve question the validity of God’s word)

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” (Eve’s first response to temptation – spoke the TRUTH back to the serpant)

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (TEMPTATION #2, continuing to prod and makes to more appealing to “me”, beneficial for “me”)

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. (Me and what was best for me in that situation won out) She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Slippery slope and drew others in) 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (Sin created a gap, causes fear and insecurity)

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (God questions Adam about what he did.  Notice, He was specific in asking what did YOU do?)

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Adam’s response, pass the buck.  He first blamed Eve (the woman) and then even tried to throw some of the blame on God (you put her with me).)

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” (Now God questions Eve about what she did.  Again, specifically asks her (you).)

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Eve passes the blame too.)

(Notice, there ARE consequences for sin!  There ARE consequences when you make a mistake!)

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (See also the provision for our redemption in the midst of this.)

16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

See the theme?  I want to do what is best for me in my situation, even though it is not right. And if I get caught, it’s not my fault?  How often do we hear that?  I hear it from my kids (ages 10, 8 and 6) and see it on the news all over in our country.  I hear it from our leaders and others in position of authority.  How are we to change this if this is the example we have.  Simple, let it begin with you.  Is it easy to take “me” out of the equation?  Nope.  Is it easy to admit it is your fault when you sin? Nope.  But we have to start somewhere.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to see God move here?  What difference would it make in how you make decisions and live your life if your first thought was not how will this affect me? Wouldn’t it be awesome if our me-first society would change and become God and others first?  What witness to the power of God and his ability to change lives.  After all, he has called us to something more, something that is WAY beyond “me”.

This brings to mind a song from Matthew West, “Do Something”

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”

Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

I’m so tired of talking
About how we are God’s hands and feet
But it’s easier to say than to be
Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”
Well, I don’t know about you
But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
I don’t want a flame, I want a fire
I wanna be the one who stands up and says,
“I’m gonna do something”

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

 

We are the salt of the earth
We are a city on a hill (shine shine, shine shine)
But we’re never gonna change the world
By standing still
No we won’t stand still
No we won’t stand still
No we won’t stand still

 

If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something

 

My final question to you, “Are you willing to do something?”

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