Friday, October 21, 2011

It Wasn’t Me…

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20
A month or so ago my five-year-old daughter Sydney began playing the cutest game with her mother and me.  We were all sitting in the movie theater waiting for the show to start when Sydney leaned over and poked me in the side with her finger, and then looked away toward her mother.  I looked at her and asked if she needed something.  Syd grinned coyly and replied, “It wasn’t me!”

Momentarily confused, I looked back at the slide show running on the movie screen.  After a few moments, I get poked by a little girl finger again.  “May I help you?” I asked Sydney.  She replied: “It wasn’t me!” and she began to giggle.  Then she started the same routine with her mother.  Poke poke.  “Yes?”  “It wasn’t me!”  Uh huh…  Truly, it was very cute and I only wish I had captured it on video.

But that’s enough about me…What do YOU think about me?
My friend Todd McCartney has a favorite saying that he will toss in after a lengthy bout of talking about whatever has been going on in his life, he’ll say: “But that’s enough about me…What do YOU think about me?”  It cracks me up every time.  I think I find it funny because all too often, we (myself included) allow life to become way too much about ourselves.  MY concerns.  MY worries.  MY needs.  MY opinions.  MY desires…and if we think about it, Jesus didn’t live that way.  Jesus life was all about OTHERS! And in proper living as a follower of Christ, I must live first for Christ Jesus, and through him – for others.  

It Isn’t Me…
In 1900, hymn writer Francis E. Bolton wrote the following words:
Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted; Not I, but Christ, be seen be known, be heard;
Not I, but Christ, in every look and action, Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word.
Not I, but Christ, to gently soothe in sorrow, Not I, but Christ, to wipe the falling tear;
Not I, but Christ, to lift the weary burden, Not I, but Christ, to hush away all fear.
Christ, only Christ! no idle words e’er falling, Christ, only Christ; no needless bustling sound;
Christ, only Christ; no self important bearing; Christ, only Christ; no trace of “I” be found.
Not I, but Christ, my every need supplying, Not I, but Christ, my strength and health to be;
Not I, but Christ, for body, soul, and spirit, Christ, only Christ, here and eternally.

This Robe of Flesh…
I won’t spend too much time beating myself up for the tendency to put myself first.  It is the nature of the robe of flesh that I wear.  We are born seeking for self first.  However, knowing that this is not the life Jesus would have me live, I will engage in that life long battle to crucify the flesh so that the spirit and example of Christ can live in me.  The Apostle Paul knew this when he wrote the words of Galatians 2:20 above.  He wrote to encourage his reader to effectively die to self and live as if he had handed his body, his life, and his will over Jesus. …or as Francis Bolton wrote above… “Not I, but Christ.”

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, So often I make my life all about me.  Conflicts abound within and without because I perceive that somehow I’m not getting what I deserve.  Dear Savior, grant me the grace and power to live in such a way that my life is what YOU deserve.  Amen.”

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