“It’s not always about you, Dave.” These are disappointing words and hard to swallow. Most of us feel important and would like to think that others notice, too. But, usually, their focus is elsewhere, and we have to learn to live with it.
Recently, I was asked to officiate an outdoor wedding. The photographer had some specific requests that directly impacted the wedding officiant. Apparently, a previous minister photo-bombed too many of the pictures. So, they asked me to step aside at certain times so they could get a clear shot of the bride and groom by themselves. Sweet.
Years ago, I had another “It’s not about you, Dave,” moment. There was a man who faithfully attended our church. He always came late, sat on the back row, and left early. So, one Sunday, I slipped out early hoping to meet him. I introduced myself and thanked him for being so faithful. He seemed disturbed that I had confronted him and walked out the door without a word.
Undeterred, I followed him outside and that’s when he explained that he did not like our church, and was actually a member of a faith group that we considered a cult. He said that my sermons were heresy, and that the only reason he came was because his wife was in the choir. Really? And so it was, that my pride was trampled under the feet of infidels.
Do you remember King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 5? This awful king committed all the usual crimes of self-centered people. But he was so out of control that even God lost patience with him. One day, God recognized that Nebuchadnezzar had lowered his mind to that of an animal, so God sentenced him to live with the wild donkeys and to even eat grass! This was truly the harvest of pride.
The Bible often teaches against pride. Proverbs 28:25 says that a proud heart stirs up strife. Psalm 119:78 reminds us that the proud should be ashamed of themselves and the selfish actions that they take.
In James 4:6, the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Friends, we need to get a grip on our feelings. We are offended too much. We are outraged about what others do or don’t do. We think it is all about us and it is not! In fact, most people are too selfish to even think about us. Get over yourself!
One evening a noisy mockingbird was singing an irritating song. It seemed to me that the bird was too screechy and needed more notes to make a pretty serenade. I frowned at the bird with disgust. It momentarily stopped singing and glared at me in silence. It was then that I realized that its' song was to his Creator and not to me!
“It’s not always about you, Dave.” Point made.