Summary: How do you view yourself? It’s an important question. And if you don’t answer this questions biblically, you will an unhappy person. You’ll drink too much or eat too much or eat too little or work too much or shop too much or please people too much bec
When I was growing up, I felt like I just didn’t fit in – I didn’t belong.
My dad was a part-time pastor of a very small rural church on a mountain 45 minutes north of Chattanooga. His other job was at a rat-infested factory in downtown Chattanooga. My mom had to work as a clerk at Kroger’s grocery store to help pay the bills. Both mom and dad had Appalachian roots. So, we were a middle class family from the sticks of Tennessee.
The problem for me was that I went to high school with kids who had more money and more sophistication. And I never felt like I quite measured up. So, I overcompensated. I worked harder as a student, as an athlete, and as a leader to prove that I belonged.
From the outside, most people I went to high school with would never have guessed that I didn’t feel like I was good enough. I was captain of the basketball and baseball teams, a member of the National Honor Society, and president of the senior class. But I just knew I didn’t really belong.
Going to college didn’t help. I went to Vanderbilt University. Vandy is to the SEC kind of like Northwestern is to the Big Ten – bad at sports and great in academics. Lots of rich people in the south send their kids there. I clearly didn’t belong.
Trying to prove I belonged carried over into my ministry. I really wanted to win in ministry. It wasn’t until about ten years ago that I went to a class sponsored by Moody Bible Institute and the North Coast Family Foundation that I began to see that my drive to succeed had a whole lot to do with my feelings of inferiority. It wasn’t about God and His glory as much as I thought.
I finally saw that my need to succeed was hurting the people around me – my wife and children were being neglected and my drive for success was hurting some of my close friends. It had to face the fact that my ministry was more about me than I wanted to admit.
Am I alone in this? Have you ever slowed down the pace of your life to think deeply about what you are doing and why you are doing it? Can you admit: “Maybe it’s really been too much about me?”
We thirst for recognition. We love power and position. We want the big sale. We live for the next project. We thirst for the applause that winning brings us.
Ted Williams once was asked how he wished to be remembered and he said that he wanted to be known as the greatest hitter who ever lived. Immediately after he died, I promise you this was not on his mind at all.
It’s Not About Me
Now the verse we are going to read today is a verse that was written by a guy who didn’t fit in.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Sometimes around here we talk about what it’s going to take for us to have a biblical worldview. A worldview has answers for questions like: Who am I?, How did I get here?, Why am I here?, and Where am I headed?
It’s not very often that you can find crystal clear answers to these kinds of questions in such a small space as we do in this verse for today. We’ll focus on two questions: Who am I? and Why am I here?