Are you self-centered? I know that is an unfair question. Let's try that again. Do you know someone who is self-centered? You may not say it out loud, but you hate them, don't you? Hate is a strong word, so let's just say they aren't your favorite person to be around. Self-centeredness is an awful disease. The truth is, we all have it. Perhaps we have it in varying degrees, but self-centeredness is an illness we must all deal with.
So, what do we do?
We need regular doses of mission. Yes, mission. A cause that forces us to say "no" to self and "yes" to others. I firmly believe that every Christian, for that matter every person, needs a mission. I believe that every person is born with a potential to make a difference. If you are a Christian, you were definitely "born again" to make a difference for God's glory; however, even as Christians our selfishness can easily take the lead, causing us to lose touch with the importance of making a difference. Life gets busy and we get so consumed with what seems to be important at the time. That's really the problem. At any given moment, my selfish side can make me believe that I "need" something that I really don't need. If I give my selfish side too much attention, I will eventually get to the point that I discard opportunities to bless and help others because it gets in the way of taking care of ME. That's what we call self-centeredness.
Do you have a mission? Regular doses of mission is a prescription that limits self-centeredness and releases generosity. Mission reminds us that we were not made to be a reservoir of selfishness but rather a river of selfLESSness. You know this is true. It just feels right to be generous. The only issue we have with generosity is when giving to others competes with what WE want. And WE want a LOT. This is terribly short-sighted. We were made to be channels of blessing to others. It is a strange reality in life that generosity produces personal fulfillment. This is not the message the advertisers want you to hear. "MORE, MORE MORE!" rarely, if ever gives you the "more" you really want. Fulfillment is not produced by taking, only by giving!
Every year at Christmastime our church (Highpoint Church) hosts an incredible ministry called Christmas in a Red Bag (CRB). The premise is simple. Adopt a single-parent family in our community for Christmas. We like to say, "Adopt. Shop. Deliver." This is our way of handing out prescriptions for self-centeredness. CRB gives you the opportunity to make a difference and be a river instead of a reservoir. I have a soft spot in my heart for single parents. I cannot imagine the difficulties and pressure of trying to be both mom and dad for your kids. The single parents I know work extremely hard to provide for their family and many come up short, especially in the simple luxuries many of us take for granted. Whether it is a dinner and dessert to celebrate a child's birthday or a registration fee for the upcoming sports league, single parents often come up short. This is why I LOVE CRB. You and I have the change to help a single parent WIN with their kids. Those Red Bags that are delivered all over our community and represent hundreds of smiles on the faces of single moms and dads as they watch their kids smile because of a special gift under the tree.
I hope you have a mission. If you are like me, you desperately need to do whatever it takes to keep self-centeredness from ruining your life!
Interested in Christmas in a Red Bag? Click Here.