It’s Not About You

Job’s story gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of the great controversy as it plays out in our lives. The man was simply living his holy life when the devil randomly, it would seem, picks on him. The first two chapters of the book of Job draw back the curtain, showing clearly that Job’s experience of hardship is tied to a larger metanarrative involving the entire universe. A metanarrative in which God’s character is on the line.

Clearly, not everything bad that happens to us falls within the paradigm of Job’s experience. Sometimes bad things result from our own poor decisions (dare I say, most times?). But in Job’s life we see the principle that how believers live has ramifications in the universal question of whether God is trustworthy. The way we handle trials and temptations casts a vote either for or against the trustworthiness of God. So this controversy really isn’t about you—it’s about Him!

But let’s flip the coin for a minute and look at the great controversy from God’s perspective.

Sin enters the universe through a process summarized by the Bible as a mystery. The omnipotent Creator God could simply wipe out His creation and just start from scratch, but that’s not the God He is. Instead, He chooses to risk His own life to redeem His fallen creatures. So unfolds human history as it is revealed in Scripture: the story of God’s fight to restore communion between Him and His creation.

You see, from God’s perspective, this is all about you. Think about Jesus’ mission statement as articulated in His name: He came to save His people from their sins. It does not say that He came to vindicate His character before the universe. Even though His life actually did reveal something about His character, His purpose in coming was actually focused on us, not on Himself.

A common thread runs through these two perspectives of the great controversy. From the human perspective, this controversy is not about us, it’s about vindicating God’s character; from the divine perspective, it’s about reconciling the world to Himself. Whichever angle you look at it from, it’s not about yourself; it’s about someone else.

God’s life is others-focused. As His children, so should our lives be. Thus, even when facing temptation, our motivation to live victoriously ought to come from a desire to honor God (and not, for example, from fear of losing our good reputation). My college major, my choice of employment, who to marry, when to marry, how many children to have, where to live, what to eat, what to do for recreation…All of life’s decisions should be motivated by a desire to honor God!

The focus on living for others is a principle that governs the actions of all those on the winning side of this great controversy. So it’s not about you. The moment it becomes about you, you’ve crossed over to the losing side.

  • Very interesting and well written. Thank you.

  • Cindy Peterson

    Right on! Thanks and God bless!

  • I never look at it that way, nicely put and thank you. God bless

  • Don Aquino

    To GOD be the glory forever. Amen

  • Sophonie

    Amen! Amen! “The moment it becomes about you, you’ve crossed over to the losing side”. This is so true.

  • Grace Wray

    The moment it is about you, you’ve become selfish, self-centered…it’s not about you, it is about others, other-centered love. Excited about your Morning Devotions.

  • Danny Moonie

    This is such a simple and beautiful summary of what is at stake in the great controversy. The Lord desires that our world, our universe receive a true understanding of His love. “Love…does not seek its own” (1 Cor. 13:5), thus God who is love seeks the good of His creation even at the cost of His own life. He earnestly desires that the recipients of His love choose to love Him in return, thus putting Him first in all things. As we put Him first, the fog of selfishness will clear up and we will naturally seek the good of others, which will leave us with an experience that fulfills the words of Christ, “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40). May the Lord fill our hearts with His love that will illumine the world with His glory!

  • Judith

    Amen! Thanks for this. Let’s pray that we will be surrendered to The Lord in all things and live the words of 1st Peter 3:8-11
    ‘8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
    9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
    10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
    11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.’
    Thanks also to Danny for the encouragement above.
    God bless

  • Denise Doe

    God is “Love”. He loves the sinner but hates sin, and this why he could say, about those who crucified him, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” We need to love as Christ loves, not expecting to be loved back; through the hurt, through the unjustice, trusting in the One who will someday bring in everlasting righteousness. This is when it will be about Him whose character will have been vindicated and it will be about “us” who have revealed Christ’s character to the world.

  • Jaehwa Shim

    How do we show as much Christ as possible and as little our ‘selves’ as possible so that we may really sㅣknow that our lives are not about us but are really ‘all’ about Him? Let us concern about making Jesus famous rather than trying to build our reputation in the name doing God’s work. The name of Jesus deserves 100% of praise and glory we give.Thus, 0 % of praise and glory belongs to us. That sounds pretty fair and reasonable, doesn’t it?

  • Love the double-sided perspective. Never thought of it in that light before i.e. the divine angle. Nicely written post.

  • Prince

    Amen…there is no room for Self