[forthright] It is not about me

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 09:45:02 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross

In his book on Job, Mike brings another valuable
perspective to light.http://forthrightpress.com


COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

It is not about me
 by Michael E. Brooks
http://tinyurl.com/7p4ktch

"Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher,
what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal
life" (Matthew 19:16, NKJV). 

The desire to impress others is universal. Wherever I
travel I meet those who are eager to tell me of their
accomplishments and qualifications. Sometimes this is
in an effort to find employment, but often it seems to
be nothing more than pride and self-importance.

It is human nature to want attention and to incite
admiration. Most of us fall prey to that temptation at
least occasionally.

I have long wearied of interviews with athletes who
say, "I just want to show everyone what I can do."
Maybe it is a sign of my age, but it seems that a few
decades ago it was more often about the team – "I could
not have done it alone, everyone had a part."

Now it seems that too many are willing to take full
credit for any accomplishment.

Perhaps I am being too hard on the young ruler of
Matthew 19, but it is easy to see some of that attitude
in his request. "What good thing can I do?"

With all his money and talent there must have been some
noteworthy act of charity or religious ritual which
would really get God's attention and assure his
entrance into the Kingdom. After all he was young, rich
and powerful. Surely God needed someone like him

I am reminded of Naaman the Syrian leper, who was
offended when Elisha required only that he bathe seven
times in the Jordon. After all, he was the commander of
Syria's army, and the prophet would not even come out
to greet him personally.

Naaman's servants wisely asked, "If the prophet had
told you to do something great, would you not have done
it?" (2 Kings 5:13). They knew it was Naaman's ego that
was bruised – he was just more important than Elisha
was willing to recognize.

Jesus had previously given us the answer to the ruler's
question. "If anyone desires to come after me, let him
deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me"
(Matthew 16:24). Before one can be a faithful servant
of God, he must recognize that it is we who need him;
not the other way around.

Christianity is not about me. It is about God, always
and only. I must come in humble submission to his will
(James 4:7-10), recognizing his glory and power, and
trust him to meet my needs, fulfilling his promises.

There is no mighty act which can prove human
worthiness, no "good thing that I shall do." Neither
wealth, nor social position, nor physical abilities
makes one acceptable to God. Only faith can do that
(Habakkuk 2:4; Ephesians 2:8-9).

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