Have you ever seen those t-shirts that say, “It’s all about me”? Or maybe you’ve heard the song by Chelsea Staub by the same title from the recent movie “Bratz”? What thoughts or emotions come to mind when you hear those words?
Me? I cringe. It sends needles down my spin like fingers nails on a chalkboard. While the clothing apparel may be attractive and the song catchy, the message it conveys is a total lie. “How?” you ask. Well, read on because that is the question I hope to answer. Ready to get started? Great, let’s go!
Aaron came into my office looking a bit forlorn. I greeted him with a handshake and a smile and invited him to sit in the recliner. “What’s on your mind?” I asked easing into my chair across from him. That question began the unfolding of a long, heartbreaking story of his father’s infidelity. For months now Aaron had sensed that things between his mother and father were not going well. At home the atmosphere was frequently iced-over. But he had no idea as to the source of the marital strain. There had been other similar moments so this current situation was not uncommon. Aaron and his younger sister where unaware of the evidence – a separate email account, love notes, hotel receipts – slowly trickling in of a “secret” affair, which his mother carefully collected and guarded from her children.
It all came to a head one evening, however. His mother finally confronted the situation. Conflict ensued. Words exchanged. Doors slammed. To make a long story short, Aaron’s dad ended up moving off base where he rented a separate apartment. He finally admitted to having a sexual relationship with a co-worker at the office. She also was experiencing her own marital troubles. All this was the reason for Aaron’s visit to my office. He had no one else to talk to, to share his burden with.
Wow! Talk about a heavy load! No wonder he was looking so down when he came into my office. After that initial conversation, Aaron and I continued to visit regularly. As the weeks went by he remained in touch with his dad, but the broken trust obviously impacted Aaron’s relationship with his father. Their conversations were understandably awkward. Yet, Aaron handled the situation with maturity. He knew that the choices his father had made were unwise and opposed to God’s standard of purity. He even mustered the courage to boldly confront his dad with God’s truth. Rather than taking his son’s words to heart, his dad became defiant and defensive. Indeed, this was not the first time Aaron’s father found the embrace of another woman. It had happened many years earlier. But that time was only a one-night stand and his parents were able to work through their issues.
Even though Aaron’s dad probably never wore the “Its all about me” t-shirt or never listened to Chelsea Shaub’s song, his actions more than indicate that he had bought the lie. Did you know that, if you watch people long enough, they will tell you everything they believe? That’s right! Because actions speak louder than words. We could also put it this way: we cannot help but live our beliefs. This father’s actions loudly proclaimed that he believed life was all about him. It was HIS happiness, HIS pleasure, HIS emotional needs, HIS satisfaction that mattered most. Oh, how I wish he could have seen the emotional train-wreck he caused his wife and kids! It broke my heart. It really did. Like I said earlier: finger nails on a chalkboard. There is a word for choices like his. It’s called selfishness; it’s called sin, and sin always destroys.
Unfortunately, in military families this scenario is all too familiar, all too common. In fact, history is full of such tragedies. The Bible even records some of them. In the next section, we’re going to take a look at one man whose wondering eye and idleness led him into a heap of trouble. Through his poor example, like the one here, we will see the absurdity of living life with the “Its all about me” motif.
This story is about King David, one of Israel’s greatest kings, and Bathsheba, the wife of one his Mighty Men. As you read, pay attention to all the times David’s choices reflect the “it’s all about me” mentality.
I am sorry for all the selfish choices I make. Help me, in your grace and mercy and by your Holy Spirit, to think of myself less and others more often.
In Jesus’ name,
Try this quiz out and see how you do! No matter what the results, challenge yourself to mentally say “you!” instead of “me” at least three times today in situations you normally would not. Then just keep it up and change the world! :)
Genesis 3:4-7 – these verses describe perhaps the most tragic event in all Scripture. Notice how the snake, Satan, succeeds in getting Adam and Eve to believe that life was all about enriching themselves.
Matthew 16:24-25 – notice what Jesus has to say about those who would suggest that life is all about personal gain.
Watch this clip from the motion picture Captain America and consider – who are you in this scene? Who do you aspire to be? Do those answers reflect a selfless perspective?
In the past few years, zombie films and world disaster scenarios have become very popular in our entertainment. One widely viewed show, The Walking Dead, follows a group of people throughout a world thoroughly infested with zombies. Humans, in our natural form, have become nearly extinct.
When a young boy in their group is injured accidentally, two men, Shane & Otis, go in search of medicine and supplies at a nearby school. The place is overrun by zombies and after they retrieve the needed items, Shane & Otis struggle to escape the starving zombies.
Running low on ammo and feeling the pressure to save the young boy waiting for his medicine, the men get out of there as fast as they can but it just isn’t any good. Those monsters are catching up to them and there seems to be no solution. Then Shane makes a decision. When they’re both down to one bullet, he looks at Otis, apologizes & shoots him. Shane decided to sacrifice this other man. Shane decided to save the boy. Shane decided to save himself. What would you have decided?
Consider that for a minute. We watch these stories and we may even yell at the screen, but what would you do, REALLY do, if you found yourself in a similar situation. And what does that say about how you value your fellow man? What does that reveal about how much God leads your decision making? What does that show you about who you are and for what you are using your life?
Here is a clip of Shane & Otis searching the school & running from the zombies.
WARNING: ZOMBIE IMAGES & SOME VIOLENCE
Here you can see Shane make the decision.
WARNING: ZOMBIE IMAGES & SOME VIOLENCE
(Video contains some crude humor)
Here’s a funny scene from the romantic comedy How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days. The two people have been pursuing a relationship, each as a means to promoting their careers. Of course, they develop true feelings beneath all of their selfish motivation; however, upon discovering each other’s betrayal, they remain so fastidiously selfish it becomes comical. So take a look as they both try to show how vain the other is while in the process only succeeding in ridiculing themselves.