Summary: A sermon to help us avoid the trap of "It’s all about me." Preached for New Years. (Material taken from Generation Me by Jean Twenge and the Purpose Driven Life by Rich Warren)
Sermon for 1/7/2007
It’s All About Me
A. It’s all about me! Let’s think about it:
B. I take care of my family. Why? Because it’s all about me. I take care of my family so they will take care of me. I do things for my wife so that she will love me.
C. I have children that I raise so that they will grow up and make me proud. I want them to be healthy, wealthy and wise. Why? Because it’s all about me. I want to brag on them and their accomplishments. If they don’t help my self esteem, then I don’t talk about them much.
D. I go to work. Why? Because it’s all about me. I need to provide a comfortable living for me and my family. I need to feel important in my community. I need to feel powerful because I have money and status. It’s all about me.
E. I go to the gym to work out. Why? Because it’s all about me. I need to have a good looking body so that people will want to be around me. I don’t want people to be ashamed of me. I want to be able to do things that will benefit me.
F. I help out at the local civic organization. Why? Because it’s all about me. I want people to see that I care. Not that I really do, because it’s all about me, but I have to appear to care so that people will care about me. I give to charities not because it will help others, but because it will help me on my taxes, it will help me to appear charitable to others.
G. Every area of life I make sure that it is all about me.
H. Generation Me by Jean Twenge says: We simply take it for granted that we should all feel good about ourselves, we are all special, and we all deserve to follow our dreams. GenMe is straightforward and unapologetic about our self-focus. In 2004’s Conquering Your Quarter life Crisis, Jason, 25, relates how he went through some tough times and decided he needed to change things in his life. His new motto was "Do what’s best for Jason. I had to make me happy; I had to do what was best for me in every situation."
I. Americans use these phrases so often that we don’t even notice them anymore. Dr. Phil uttered both "respect yourself" and "stop lying to yourself" within seconds of each other on a "Today" show segment on New Year’s Resolutions. One of his bestselling books is entitled Self Matters.
J. Young people have learned these self-lessons very well. In a letter to her fans in 2004, Britney Spears, 23, listed her priorities as "Myself, my husband, Kevin, and starting a family." We don’t have to hear that twice to get the point. We take it for granted that we should put ourselves first on our list of priorities – it would be blasphemy if you didn’t. Twenty-year-old Maria says her mother often reminds her to consider what other people will think. "It doesn’t matter what other people think," Maria insists. “What really matters is how I perceive myself. The real person I need to please is myself."
K. Smart marketers have figured this out, too. In the late 1990s, Prudential replaced its longtime insurance slogan "Get a Piece of the Rock" with the individualistic "Be Your Own Rock." The United States Army, perhaps the last organization one might expect to focus on the individual instead of the group, has followed suit. Their slogan, adopted in 2001, is "An Army of One."
L. It’s all about me. It’s about what I want and what I desire. The universe revolves around me. This might make you sick. It is so easy to spot selfishness in others and easy to ignore or justify it in ourselves.
M. Jean Twenge says, “"Be yourself," "Believe in yourself," "You must love yourself before you can love someone else." These are some of our culture’s most deeply entrenched beliefs. It is the teachings of our society.
N. She goes on to say, “We live in a time when high self-esteem is encouraged from childhood, when young people have more freedom and independence than ever, but also far more depression, anxiety, cynicism, and loneliness. Why is that? Because it is all about me! Focusing on self leads to depression, anxiety, cynicism and loneliness.
O. How do we avoid this trap?
Thesis: I have three Scriptures for us this morning that will help us to avoid the trap of, “It’s all about me.”
(1 Pet 2:9 NIV) But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.