In Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, he opens with a challenging statement, “It’s Not About You!” Those four words represent one of the most difficult principles one could ever hope to apply to their life in some degree. In a way, those words seem very foreign in a world of immediate gratification and self-centeredness. After all I can go to Burger King and “have it my way,” I can order a new car with the equipment that I chose to have or I can make hundreds of personal selections as I walk through Walmart shopping. Regardless, in 21st Century America, we can have it our way!
For Christian believers today, these words are extremely difficult to apply to our daily lives. I vote for the candidate I want, I chose the place I will live and I literally make thousands of choices for myself every hour of every day. How can this life not be about me? Maybe Rick Warren means something else? Perhaps the meaning of this perplexing statement is hidden in the agenda I have for my life. After all God gave me this life, right? God surely isn’t an “Indian-giver” is He? “Have your life but give it back to Me!” “Aaarrrg!” I don’t think so.
One of the principles Christians wrestle with in this statement of Rick Warren’s is the concept of our lives being blessed by giving up dominion over them. Or put another way it is the idea that we receive tremendous joy and contentment by living for God and not ourselves. But there are problems with that. I still humanly want my own way and don’t like being told what to do! After all, my idea of fun and fulfillment is probably different than God’s! Can the two co-exist and bring Godly fruit? Even more, does it really matter?
NOTE TO SELF: I’m not done with this question yet!