Monday, May 5, 2014

All About Me?

image used under Creative Commons license, 
photo from bixentro on Flickr
Sometimes things come together in such a way that you wonder if they weren't planned to be together.  Even though, except for divine intervention, that's just not possible.

We've begun sharing some of our "take aways" from the Exponential conference. My particular feeling about what makes a great preacher or speaker isn't the amount of territory he can cover.  Rather, it's the ability to leave something that will last me longer than the first 30 minutes after it was said.  There was one speaker who did that particularly well.

The purpose of my life does not revolve around me. -- Oscar Murio

Oscar Murio is a Nigerian pastor with a large church.  His moment at the conference began with that quote.  And then, he spent the rest of his speaking time illustrating and expanding on that thought. We'll get back to his real focus with that statement.  But his point got driven home by a totally different environment, the online world.

Today's graphic highlights what seems to be an increasing reality, sometimes called the "me generation".  The focus is what the individual wants, whether it's really to their own benefit or fits in with the greater good.  And whether their interpretation of something really holds water or not.

Most people think of the "me generation" as looking for good times, good pay, material goods, etc., without out having contributed anything to make it happen.  And, to a point, that may be a good description.  But it really comes down to a sense of entitlement.  And, to keep the conversation from deviating away from the point, we'll discuss the least controversial of the possibilities.

For years, before the arrival of the smartphone, there were two related faceoffs.  One was between linux and Windows fans.  The second was between bare Windows and any number of candidates to change how Windows looked and functioned.  Later, you could add Mac vs Windows PC as a third controversy.  With the advent of smartphones and tablets, the number of alternatives may have changed with the focus on mobile OSes, but the cast of characters and the arguments were pretty much the same.  Today, we call the participants in those discussions "fanboys" and "trolls".

I had this to say to someone complaining about a lone programmer who had put out a new app instead of focusing on this person's wishes for the present launcher:

"I can't speak for anyone else, but I've always found that buying a product based on future promised upgrades is always disappointing. Timelines get clobbered by things that don't go as planned. Technical issues stretch out how long things take, maybe even killing some promises. Updates add things that I don't care about, while leaving out things I want till later or maybe never.

The reality is that there are a whole lot more people than me giving input as to what's best in an app and needs to be added. And they just may disagree with what I say is important.

So, I'm always going to be disappointed if I buy something based on future possibilities. If I can't be happy with what's there, now, I shouldn't buy it in the first place. And I really need to realize I'm not the center of the programming universe.".

Like much of the rest of life, it's the most vocal who get heard, even if they're an extremely small minority.  And the nicknames belie the actual reality that underlies what they do.  Because it isn't the fandom or the trolling that's the heart of the issue.  It's sense of self worth and it's relationship or lack of it.

I must be comfortable with who I am, with my relationships, and with the blessings I already have. That gives me a foundation that that doesn't require me to have to be better or more right than others.  Although I may, in fact, be the one who really is right or has certain gifts.  I won't have to have more than others, although God may have blessed me that way.

Colossians 3:1 (KJV)  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Philippians 4:11 (KJV)  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Galatians 1:10 (KJV)  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Those verses highlight a spiritual reality.  If I have sought God's kingdom, have gained a relationship with God, understand who I am in Christ, and clearly see all of that in God's perspective, there are certain things that will happen.

  1. My relationship with God will be my priority.  While other things may vary, He is the only thing that remains constant, remains perfect.
  2. Once I recognize that, then I'll want His thoughts to be my thoughts.
  3. If God's thoughts inhabit my mind, I won't need to be "right", just in unity with Him.
  4. Having God's heart means not having to pound our beliefs into someone.  We can let them see God and come to their own conclusions, just like God did with us.
  5. In contrast, pushing people into decisions they're not ready to make may push them away from God because what they see is our tactics, not Him.  What they see is a lack of difference from the other kingdom in how things are done.
  6. With God's thoughts, I don't have to have everything others have.  I can be content with what I have while moving toward greater blessing.
  7. When I'm thinking God's thoughts, I have heavenly confidence.  How others see me, how I see myself, my blessings or lack of them, or my possessions are all unimportant.  The one thing that is important is my relationship with God.
  8. That relationship makes it all about God, not me.

The purpose of my life does not revolve around me. -- Oscar Murio

What's the driving force in your life, today?


  1. I appreciate this thought provoking post. Thank you! Your point, "If God's thoughts inhabit my mind, I won't need to be "right", just in unity with Him." is one I will ponder today and hold close to my heart. I love it!!

    1. Glad that spoke to your heart. I try to let God control the content of my posts. Sounds like I was successful with that for this post.