Self-Centeredness is rampant in America. It is a challenge in every house on every street in every neighborhood or apartment. What are ways we can start to remove some obstacles and barriers that cause us to keep God out of focus in our lives? There is a way to be self-centered and still be others centered and God centered? As a leader, when you connect your greatest good with allowing God and His word to control you, that is, you live for God’s glory and not for self glory or self focus, then you are onto something. What does that look like for a real estate agent, teacher, engineer, marketer, salesman, or stay at home mom? If we could simply live out Psalm 115:1a our neighborhoods and job sites would be changed, here’s how.
If we are living for God’s glory then we are simultaneously living for the good of others…it is that simple. God has a sense of humor in getting us to understand living for His glory by not being selfish. Steve Farrar in Point Man said:
We’re all selfish. Selfish to the core. God sometimes chooses to deal with our selfishness by giving us someone to care for who is infinitely more selfish than you. Babies are not only the cutest creatures on the face of the earth, they are by far the most selfish. Farrar goes on to write: “The way God deals with my own selfishness is to give me someone to serve who has zero interest in serving me. You can’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Not too many people in the world could out-selfish me one-on-one. But every time we’ve had a baby, I’ve met my match. Each of my kids resembled me. I don’t mean they looked like me, I mean they were as selfish as me. That meant that somebody in the family was going to have to grow up. Guess who was nominated?
Psalm 115:1 is a Test of our Focus and our Choices.
Focus– When our eyes on ourselves we are not thinking of anyone but ourselves we tend to be the most miserable. We will not be able to work well on a team of people. We won’t be able to meet needs at home. Self-centered folks are the least happy among us. There was some research done by Bernard Rimland that sought to see if there was a connection between a lack of happiness and being self-centered. Rimland found that “The happiest people are those who help others.” Each person involved in the study was asked to list ten people he knew best and to label them as happy or not happy. Then they were to go through the list again and label each one as selfish or unselfish, using the following definition of selfishness: a stable tendency to devote one’s time and resources to one’s own interests and welfare–an unwillingness to inconvenience one’s self for others.” In categorizing the results, Rimland found that all of the people labeled happy were also labeled unselfish. He wrote that those “whose activities are devoted to bringing themselves happiness…are far less likely to be happy than those whose efforts are devoted to making others happy” Rimland concluded: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Ideas on helping people- Help the newcomers understand company culture quickly with kindness. Go across team lines (if appropriate) by giving solid leads. Keep the team’s goals ahead of your own. Encourage veterans with timely praise. Listen to peers and ask clarifying questions to their ideas. Sharpen your Axe, that is constantly work at making yourself a better spouse, friend, worker, child of God, etc. Over communicate with your boss and be willing to take risks in order to make the team better.
Choices– When we make the choice to make God look good more than ourselves we are trusting God with our lives. When we choose to live and work for His namesake above our own standing then we are laying ourselves out there on the protection and provision of God. A marketplace person can do this when they choose to be honest and giving rather than having a deceitful heart and an ungiving spirit. D.L. Moody said, “I believe firmly that the moment our hearts are emptied of pride and selfishness and ambition and everything that is contrary to God’s law, the Holy Spirit will fill every corner of our hearts. But if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God. We must be emptied before we can be filled.”
Ideas on making great choices- Steal time in the morning to seek a fresh perspective on your future. Sometimes it takes a few intentional and quiet moments to keep your agenda set at being focused on more eternal things. It is a hard choice to do this but it maybe the most meaningful moments of your day. Don’t forget your creator throughout the day. Make a choice to pray for God to give you creativity to help others.