Last week I was privileged to participate in a missions conference and speak at several churches in the Boston, Mass. area. During my first Saturday night I started getting the jitters about speaking the next morning. The usual unspoken thoughts and feelings about speaking fueled the nervous flight of butterflies in my stomach. Then the Lord orchestrated a late-night talk which would radically transform the way I view life and ministry from here on out.
My wonderful hostess shared her story about being a church pianist. She said when she played piano at church and did so with the choir singing, she wasn't nervous at all. But when she played solo, butterflies took flight. She wrapped up by observing that when it wasn't about her, she was fine.
A light bulb went off when she said that. These speaking opportunities, getting to share the ministry, etc... is not about me! It has absolutely nothing to do with me! I can speak with complete freedom because it's not about me! I can live with abandon because it has nothing to do with me! This life is not to be lived with me as a focus - ever! It is not about me, so I can speak to someone for hours about the Gospel regardless of whether I'm tired or sick because I don't matter. I can serve and live in less-than-great conditions because living is not about me. I can freely, boldly, and excitedly proclaim the Gospel of Christ because I am free from the fear of offending someone. What if I do? They're not offended at me anyway - they're offended by Christ! I can even be free from the fear of persecution because it's not about me. I might be ostracized or physically harmed one day, but really, people are persecuting Christ if they persecute me. They are rejecting the Lord's work if they reject me. It has nothing to do with me. I am secure in Christ and I have died with Him already. It is now He who lives in me, not me who lives in me!!
When I make life about me, as I all too often do, that is where sin comes in. When something doesn't go "my" way and I get frustrated, the focus is me. Someone cuts me off on the freeway and I'm "ticked" off, the focus is me. Whenever I sin, my focus is me, not the One living inside of me. This life is not about me. It has absolutely nothing to do with me. And that is freeing beyond belief.