Something I’ve come to realize more and more about my self – I’m a selfish individual. I often find myself thinking about me, myself and I far more than I’d ever like to admit. And that’s our human nature. My life is about me.

Have you ever caught yourself appreciating someone solely for what they can do for you? I have.

Have you ever caught yourself using someone around you to fulfill a plan that you have that was really born out of selfishness? Yup, done that too.

Ever pawned off a job that you knowingly thought was beneath you or wouldn’t get you any recognition? *hard swallow

In my short time in ministry, there have been plenty of times where I’ve done something for someone, or for the church, where I felt like I deserved a little recognition. But I got nothing. And I’m sure you could easily think of something similar. You’ve done something for someone and it seems like they don’t even care.

Over time I’ve had to check myself on it. Why do I have such a desire to receive recognition? Selfishness. I want people to know me. I want people to have to depend on me. I want to be important. I…I…I. And if we’re not careful, we can allow ourselves to become consumed with ourselves.

But Scripture tells us this - love, true care and compassion for those in our life, isn’t self-seeking. When we love, we don’t have to be right. When we love, we don’t have to get our way. When we love, we genuinely care about others even before ourselves.  When we love, we don’t have to be recognized for what we’ve done.

We don’t have to live in that place of constantly wanting to be noticed and recognized. To be honest, living in such a way is quite distracting. We work so hard to impress people that we lose focus of what’s going on around us. We lose focus on what God has called and created us to do. We begin to play the comparison game or create a persona of how we want people to see us. If I was truthful, I’d say it like this – I work so hard to impress people that I lose focus of what’s going on around me. I play the comparison game. I create a persona.

But God has called me to be me. And God has called you to be you. He’s called us to love one another. And love isn’t self-seeking. Love looks out for others before even worrying about self. Love serves regardless of any recognition that may or may not come.

Love doesn’t think less of self, but thinks of self less.

We need…I need God to help me think of myself less. Let’s focus on getting glory for our Audience of One and not ourselves.

Matt and Staci McMullen are the youth pastors of Central Students at Central Assembly in Enid, OK. They both graduated from Central Bible College and are fulfilling a life dream of serving the church that they grew up in. Matt is a relationship driven person and prefers to just hang out over pretty much anything. He also has a pretty mean retro toy and video game collection. Staci can bake better than your grandmother. Hands down. 

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