Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is the third installment in our It’s a Question of Pride Series, partially excerpted from my book, Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe. I hope it touches you as much as the experience touched, changed, and continues to change me.

Who is it about? So many times, there are conflicts in life because it’s all about us. It’s all about what we want, what we think, and how it will affect us. It’s about our opinions, our goals, and our way of doing things.

When I began this journey of sincerely trying to be more like Christ (instead of just trying to follow rules), I found two verses that influenced my choices.

The first, Philippians 2:3, says:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

As I began the process of evaluating my heart, I realized how much selfish ambition and vain conceit drove my actions. I had always considered myself to be a good person, and on the outside, I was. But when I peeled back the layers and saw the intent of my heart, I was saddened. Instead of finding a heart like His, I found ulterior motives, selfishness, and greed.

It was all about me.

A common struggle we have as Christians is feeling that no one appreciates what we do. “Nobody knows or cares how hard I work in this church. Well, somebody else can just do it; then they’ll see how much time it takes! Then they’ll appreciate me!”

I’ve been there. I’ve said those words, and I bet you have, too. But the truth is, if we’re doing it for the right reasons, it doesn’t really matter whether anyone takes notice or not. Oh, sure, it’s nice to get pats on the back, but Philippians 2:3 says those accolades can’t be our driving force. Our commitment is to God, and in obedience, we do these things for Him, not man.

With God’s help, I assessed my motives and made changes. If the job was something I was truly called to do, I changed my attitude and moved ahead. If it wasn’t, I completed my current commitment and then resigned. It was a freeing experience.

Then I took the next step in the journey and applied the rest of that verse to my everyday life: consider others better than yourself. Instead of asking how it will affect me, I began asking, how will it affect others? Will it help them or hurt them? Will it build them up or tear them down? Will it encourage or discourage?

As I began to think more of others, my outlook changed. Oh, I’d love to tell you that all my selfishness was gone, and from that moment on, I worked totally from a pure heart. It wasn’t, and I didn’t. But at least now it’s a question I frequently consider.

The other verse is found in Romans 12:18:

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

As one determined to win, this verse was a real challenge for me. Living at peace sometimes meant giving in. And giving in isn’t normally a desirable option for those of us with a competitive nature. After all, that would be like losing! But I realize now there’s no way to lose when I honor Him.

I’m still learning to apply this concept to my everyday life. But the battle’s not as hard as it used to be. Even my family can see the difference. I’m discovering I don’t have to win, I don’t have to have the last word, and I don’t have to have my way. When the end result doesn’t carry eternal consequences—when it doesn’t matter in God’s eyes—I can choose to simply give in and live at peace.

There they are—two verses that stand as a reminder that it’s not about me, it’s about Him. It’s about what will honor Him and advance His kingdom. It’s about serving others and considering them over my own desires.

Will you honestly ask yourself, “Who is it about?” Will you take these verses and apply them to your life and test your choices? If you do, you’ll not only be closer to a heart like His, but you’ll also find freedom in doing what He’s truly called you to do.

Grace and peace,

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)