Church. It’s all about me.
It’s all about my family.
It’s all about my kids.
It’s all about my schedule.
It’s all about my preferences.
It’s all about my needs.
It’s all about my comfort level.
It’s all about my convenience.
It’s all about my musical taste.
It’s all about my personal ambitions.
It’s all about my preferred social circle.
It’s all about what I’m used to.
It’s all about my need for acceptance and affirmation.
It’s all about my happiness.
In fact, while I haven’t necessarily come to serve, I have definitely come to be served…or as we might put it today “catered to.” And if and when the time comes that I do want to serve, I really need the church to be ready to provide the kind of “service opportunity” that I am looking for. Otherwise, I will shop around for another church that is better suited to meet my “service needs.” After all, when it comes right down to it, even my act of serving is all about me.
Church…it’s really all about me.
One thing that I hope we are challenged with as we go through the book of James is to be reminded that life in the church really isn’t all about me. Over the years I have seen believers who in many ways demonstrate great maturity in Christ, nevertheless, at times fall into worldly consumerism (or “me-ism”) when it comes to their relationship to the church. Consider how the book of James might address the issues of me-centeredness that arise in the church, whether in the first century and today:
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” (2:8-9)
“But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth…For where jealousy and selfish abition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.” (3:14, 16)
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is is not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not recieve, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people!” (4:1-4a)
“Do not grumble against one another brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.” (5:9)
James forgot to tell us that at the end of the day it was really all about us!