Why Life Is Better When It’s Not About You
It’s a word I hadn’t really heard or considered as a mama. But one day this week I had spare-time to do as I pleased and chose to listen to my favorite Coffee + Crumbs podcast. This week, I heard Sharon Hodde Miller talk about her new book, Free of Me: Why Life is Better When It’s Not About You.
Here’s a quote from Sharon’s blog about her book:
“This book addresses a gap in Christian teaching, especially Christian teaching for women. As much as I appreciate messages about our value and our worth, and as much as I affirm the power of God’s love and redemption in our lives, we run a huge risk when we reduce the gospel to these things. When the majority of our messages are about us, then we imply that Jesus came and died to help us like ourselves.”
We all want to be liked, don’t we? We want God to help us to feel valued and worthy, but when that’s ALL we focus on, then we are reducing the Gospel to be about our own image.
As a life-coach, I spend a lot of time trying to encourage people to feel worthy and to focus on “self.” But I can never stop there. I’m a believer in Christ and it’s important for people to see themselves through the unique way God created them. Because of my focus on my clients’ Christ-created image, I thought the quote above didn’t apply to me. I was doing alright! But then I started to dive deeper into the idea of image-management and a “me-centered” mentality and God began uncovering parts of me that I didn’t see…
As a mom, it never occurred to me that I could be selfish in this phase of life. Sure, I was selfish when I was a child, a teen and newly married, but now my life was about my kids. Right? I mean…I wake up when they wake up. I feed them, rock them, read to them. I wipe their tears and their bottoms and then repeat. My schedule revolves around their activities or the status of their health. And my “needs” always come last.
But my perspective of my day-to-day life is now changing after being introduced to the idea of self-management.
I began reflecting on all the times I pull my kids to the side to get on them about things they are doing that might be a bad reflection on me. In my heart of hearts, I convince myself it’s to teach them a better behavior (and that’s part of it) but most of my corrections and disciplines are so that I don’t have all eyes on me during my child’s meltdown.
I recounted how many times I’ve started to write something and then held down the delete button until I could start fresh because I wasn’t quite ready to share those words. Those heart-felt/hard-to-say words were quickly replaced by a cute picture of my kids because, well, that’s never controversial!
There have also been times when I’ve talked to my husband after an event we attended and told him that some things he said didn’t come across “right” and how maybe he should “change his tone” in the future. The root of those conversations always has everything to do with image-management. I think I’m “helping” him, when really, I don’t want us to come across negatively to other people.
“What will people think about me?”
When written out, all of these thoughts or actions look bad. But we all experience image-management in different ways — it’s our subconscious way of doing life! We are correcting, apologizing, adjusting, and arranging ourselves so that we can feel deserving of value and worth.
I haven’t yet read Sharon Hodde-Miller’s book, but I plan to and will come back to this topic after I do. But for now, join me and reflect on the ways you manage your image (knowingly and unknowingly) and think about how to lessen YOUR “character” in God’s story and make the Gospel more about what He can do through you and less about maintaining an unattainable image that we were never created to maintain in the first place.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” John 3:30
God, we want less of us and MORE of YOU!
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