Lightly edited transcript:
We all have to fight against that. I do. You do. And here’s how I think that we fight against that. I think we need to remember what the opposite of being self-centered is. You know what it is, right? The opposite of being self-centered is being others-centered. So it’s looking for ways to live generously, it’s looking for ways to live graciously, it’s looking for ways to pour yourself into others. Not so that you look great, but because you believe in them and you want to make them the best they can be. The more that you can live with others in mind and not with you in mind, the less you’re going to be focused on yourself.
The Bible speaks to this. Actually, I love when Jesus sums up the entire Old Testament law in Mark 12. He says this; He says all the Old Testament prophets and law hang on this. And it’s just simply this: Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And then He goes on to say love others as yourself. So you love others as yourself; it presumes that we love ourselves. We take care of ourselves. We eat, we make sure we get up in the morning, we make sure we go to bed at night. We care for ourselves. But what it’s saying is "Yes, it’s ok to care for yourself, but care for others in the same way." So if you want to obey the entire Old Testament, love God with all your heart and love people with all your heart.
Philippians chapter 2 says this: “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit. But in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” So again, that passage, it presumes that we are going to look to our own interests. We’re going to be self-interested, but what it’s saying is to be others-interested. And I love it too that if you read on in that passage in Philippians 2, it goes on to describe the life of Jesus. And it says,“Ok, if anybody should be self-focused it should be the One who created everything.” The One who created everything should be so full of Himself that he only thinks about Himself. But in the gracious plan of God, He sent His son to die for us. Like what great hope and what great encouragement we need to not just focus on ourselves. If our King didn’t just come to focus on Himself but came so that He could sacrifice Himself for us. That’s the ultimate of giving of yourself. That’s the ultimate putting your own interests aside for the sake of others. If you want to not be self-focused, be others-focused.
Finally, I would say just be careful with social media. It’s easy for us to post things online where it seems like it might be to benefit others, but really we’re just looking for the likes. We‘re looking for the clicks, we’re looking for the thumbs up, we’re looking for the hearts. Because we want people to tell us we’re significant. The danger in that is that we’ve already been told we’re significant by the One who sacrificed everything for us. Fight against your natural tendency to only focus on yourself. Remember who Jesus is. Remember what He has done for you, and remember the truth that He’s declared to us that you are valuable already. You don’t need somebody else to put value on you. You are innately valuable because you’re created in God’s image, and because God sent His son, His only son, to die for you.