We were in the minivan, of course. It seems like all of our most life-changing, character-chiseling, valuable-lesson, Mom-wisdom moments happen while driving. What is it about being strapped in by seatbelts and in motion that promotes deep conversation?
So, there we were, mom and daughters, when I praised my preschooler on how well she does in class and how I’m so proud to hear from her teachers how she obeys and shares and listens and is always so happy and eager to learn.
The other girls chimed in immediately with their chorus of eager responses.
“When I was in preschool….”
“But I’m good at this, too….”
And I had to deliver an astonishingly hard lesson right then and there, one that I confess I’m still learning.
It’s not about you. When I’m praising her, it doesn’t reflect on you at all. If I say she’s good at this, it doesn’t mean you’re awful or that she’s better than you. It just means I’m proud of her. I need to be able to encourage and praise others without it hurting your heart. Trust that I’m not trying to compare you with each other.
And it grew even more difficult.
Not everything is about you.
That lesson gulps down like castor oil, bitter to taste and hard to handle, but ultimately the medicine we need at times. Better to learn it gently from me, in a whisper from someone who deep down loves you, than learning it from the harsh hand of an unsympathetic and unbending world.
Because, truth be told, we’re prideful creatures with a human way of viewing all the world through the filter of “Me” and everything people say as a reflection on “Me” and always comparing her and him with “Me.”
And sometimes it is about us for a moment. People stop and offer the encouragement we need and the praise we long to hear. Maybe it’s our “fifteen minutes of fame” or a time of celebration.
Sometimes, however, it’s about others. It’s their moment to shine or their time of desperate need and it’s best for us to stop trying to steal the spotlight and instead put on the black clothes of a stagehand and serve others.
No matter what, though, it’s really never about you or me or them. Not ultimately. It’s always about Him.
John the Baptist knew this, despite his touchy disciples who didn’t appreciate the attention the upstart Jesus was stealing away from John’s long-term ministry.
John wasn’t bothered at all, saying, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
And it’s as simple and as hard as that. We must always be willing to become less so that Christ can be greater in our lives.
We must remember that all of this, every one of us, the entire creation, is made by Him and for Him, never for our own personal glory or satisfaction and always to bring Him praise. That’s the lesson I’ll be reflecting on all week with this verse:
For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen. (Romans 11:36 NLT)
You can also join me in worshiping to Jesus, Lover of My Soul (It’s All About You), recorded at the Passion Conference.
“It’s all about You, Jesus. And all this is for You, for Your glory and Your fame.
It’s not about me as if You should do things my way.
You alone are God, and I surrender to Your will”
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2012 Heather King