The world doesn't revolve around you

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Romans 12:3)

I still remember where I was the day I realized that the world did not revolve around me. I was in Washington D.C., 21 years old, sitting in the top section of RFK Stadium at a Promise Keepers conference. All around me, thousands of men from all over the country stood, many with their arms raised to the sky, worshiping their God. As the swell of their voices echoed around the stadium, a sweet sound in our Lord’s ears, I suddenly realized that I was not the center of the universe. I was just one among many who had gathered that day to worship God and to commit our lives to His service.

This past Sunday, I preached on Daniel 2, where God, through Daniel, lets Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, know that he is not the center of the universe. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that even though he is the greatest living king of the most powerful kingdom in the world, all his glory and power have been given to him by God, and that one day he would die, replaced by many other kingdoms until, finally, an eternal, heavenly King would arise to establish an eternal kingdom.

You may not be a king, but the message still applies: the world does not revolve around you. There is a God in heaven, the Alpha and Omega, who was here in the beginning and will be here in the end, and we find our true purpose when we get off His throne and live for His kingdom (Matthew 6:33, Matthew 10:39). Among other things, this means the following for us:

1) Your perspective is not infallible – I was recently in a counseling session where the husband said to his wife, “I’m more aware of things than you are, and that is just a fact.” I cringed when he said that. Maybe he really is more aware, but we are always wise to see things as our perspective on the situation, not as objective fact. To recognize that the world does not revolve around you is to hold your convictions and opinions with humility, recognizing that your perspective is not infallible.

2) People do not exist to serve you – Each of us has only seen the world through our own eyes, so on the one hand, we can’t be blamed for thinking we are the star of our own movie, with everyone else functioning as our supporting cast. But gaining a proper perspective on our place in the universe is to recognize that people are not there to be used by us for our own ends or ignored if they do not add value to our lives. No, we are called to serve others, just as Jesus laid down His life for us (John 13:34-35, 1 John 3:16-17).

3) God does not exist to serve you either – We make a serious error when we see faith in God as a means to the ends we want for our lives. If our goal is worldly happiness, health, and comfort, what happens when we think God is failing to give us what our heart desires? We can easily grow bitter and angry with God. But God will not be treated as a tool. God is God, and He is worthy of all worship, regardless of what our lives look like. And we exist to serve Him.

The world does not revolve around you. Step down off His throne and find true freedom and joy in serving Him and loving your neighbor as He has loved you.
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