“These are faultfinding grumblers, living according to their own desires. They speak arrogant words and they show partiality to people when they want a favor in return.” Jude 14-19 CEB
What if we all accepted a challenge in 2019 to reduce the amount of time we use three key words in the English language? Could it be possible to improve your life and the life of others by simply reducing the usage of a few words? I believe that this is possible. If you and I will commit to using three simple words less in 2019 we will experience improvement in our attitude, our service, our relationships, our compassion, our empathy, and our faith. Wow! That is a strong belief, isn’t it? I am willing to guarantee my belief. If you will reduce, and nearly eliminate, your use of just three words in your vocabulary you will see significant improvement in all these areas of your life. Of course, there is a little more to this, and I will explain below. So, are you game? Are you open to giving this a try? If so, let’s explore this together.
There is no need to keep you wondering any longer—let’s jump into these three simple words. The words are Me, Myself, and I. Why these words? The reason is quite simple—they are self-centered, egocentric words. These three words center your thoughts, speech, and feedback on you. Of course, there really are not that many people who intentionally use these words in their everyday language because their egos are that big. What happens is we over time begin to think more about our wants and desires than the wants and desires of others. In modern culture we might simply label this as looking out for our own best interests. We have even heard phrases like, “If you don’t look out for yourself no one else will.” While this statement is absolutely true, it should not be the only way in which we view the world. The goal in reducing, and/or eliminating, these words from a Christian’s vocabulary is to be less egocentric and more Christocentric.
The greater question to ask before accepting this challenge is—Do I want my life to be about me or do I want my life to be about Christ? The writer of The Book of Jude says that those who focus on their life being about them are not experiencing what God desires for them. Even worse they are causing harm to themselves, others, and the church. The author writes, “These are faultfinding grumblers, living according to their own desires. They speak arrogant words and they show partiality to people when they want a favor in return.” You would think that these people would not exist in the Body of Christ. However, we all know they do—and sometimes they are us. When we allow our life to be more about me than Jesus we lose sight of Christ. Being filled with self means we are not being filled with Jesus. This is the danger of self. It is the danger of the three simple words me, myself, and I. The danger is being egocentric and not Christocentric.
Will you accept the challenge in 2019? Will you reduce the amount of times you use these three key words in the English language? Of course, there is more to this challenge. Reducing the use of these words is more about developing humility, compassion, and empathy than anything else. The goal needs to be more about focusing our life on Jesus and not on us. There is a saying that I just became aware of that puts it this way—Jesus, others, you. In other words, put Jesus first, put others second, and yourself last. If you do this, you will experience great JOY across all areas of your life. I believe that this was the way Jesus thought while walking the earth. Jesus put the will of God the Father first, above everything else. Jesus put others, you and I included, second and gave everything on our behalf. The last thing Jesus considered—primarily in the Garden of Gethsemane—was himself. This is the greatest example for us to follow.
Will you reduce the number of times you use me, myself, and I in 2019?
This weekend we will begin a two-week message series on The Book of Jude. We will be talking about the danger of self and the power of Jesus. We will continue to help lead all people to experience God’s grace through a growing relationship with Jesus. I hope you will join us this weekend in worship. The best is yet to come. I love you all and can’t wait to see you in church!