Everything in our culture points to the idol of SELF. Knowing this, fast-food sellers tell you to “Have it your way!” This approach causes every person to seek to live as little “k” kings of their own little “k” kingdoms, and that always brings conflict.

The reason for this conflict is the world wasn’t made for the glory of 7 billion different “kings” reigning over 7 billion different little “kingdoms.” The world was made for the glory of the one Almighty King of the universe who made it — God Himself. When we seek the good and glory of self, we hijack God’s purpose and distort His design. We become glory stealers.

God spoke the world into existence with His very word. He made it for our good and His glory. He made us so that we could know Him, worship Him, and be satisfied in Him. The Westminster Shorter Catechism addresses this with its first question: “What is the chief end of man? Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 10:31 — “Whether, therefore, you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” In Romans 11:36, Paul writes, “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

Our culture admonishes us: Find yourself; look out for yourself; be yourself. But Solomon rightly warns in Proverbs 16:25, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Our desire for self-worship, self-provision, self-service and self-glory is an illustration of the brokenness of the world because of sin. We want to be in charge of our lives and do our own thing. We want to live for our own good and our own glory. But, again, that is a rebellion against God’s purpose and design. We aren’t ultimate. He is. We aren’t worthy of glory and worship. He is. For us to live otherwise is sin — rebellion against the one who made us.

The call of the Gospel is not to live for self but rather to die to self. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

When we, by faith, turn away from our sin against God and turn to Jesus Christ, dying to ourselves and surrendering our lives to Him as Lord and Savior, He forgives our sin and gives us new life. We live not for ourselves but for Him; not for our glory, but for His. Second Corinthians 5:15 is one of my favorite verses: “And [Jesus] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

May my life, and yours, be lived not for self but for God’s glory! After all, “It’s not about me!”

Randy Mann is lead pastor of Central Baptist Church.

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