It’s Never Really About Me.

Before anything, I just want to thank the Lord for the long weekend!  It’s just refreshing to have been able to rest, relax, and reflect longer than the usual.  It’s such a blessing!

Okay, I think I need to get started before I get carried away. Haha!  So, let’s begin.

About two or three days ago, I started to read and meditate on the first letter of Paul to the Corinthian church with a focus on chapters 12-14.  Surprisingly, it was what our lead pastor (P. Lito Villoria) largely covered on when he preached his sermon last Sunday!  I perceived that as God’s affirmation of what He has been teaching me recently.  The said passages in 1 Corinthians mainly talk about spiritual gifts, by the way.  And I must say “divine appointments”, such as that, are pretty mind-boggling and overwhelming!

I remember writing, a couple of weeks back, about people who embrace the “I’m-just-not-good-enough” attitude (refer to “WANTED: Ordinary people”).  And today, I sensed the prompting to conversely write on the “I’m-more-than-enough” mentality.  I’d like to tell you more about it, if you may.

Here’s a personal account.  Many times in the past, some situations lead me into thinking that I could be an “all-around guy” after all.  I can sing.  I can teach.  I can preach.  I can write.  I think I’m good at giving sound advice.  If I’m passionate about something, I work hard to excel in it.  I can dance too (sadly)!  Kidding aside, these thoughts somehow led me to deceive myself instead.  Gradually, I clung to prideful thoughts.  Other than that, I’ve begun to subconsciously take care of pride like a “pet sin”.  I was just denying it, I guess.  It took time, guts, and much faith before I was able to honestly unearth and openly confess the matter before the Lord.

I was longing for people’s regard and affirmation.  I liked the attention.  These largely caused the problem, I observed.  In short, I want my share of glory.  When I kept on denying that pride was not an issue for me, I had the following troubles related to it.  Here are most of them:

  1. Difficulty asking help from people.
  2. Keeping personal struggles to myself. It’s hard for me to share personal details, especially negative ones.
  3. Being easily frustrated when I don’t receive any credit.
  4. Trying to be somebody that I certainly am not.
  5. Unnecessary stress caused by the longing for people’s affirmation.

Some of which are highly interconnected if you noticed, but can you identify with at least one or two things I mentioned above?

At this point, I have to make it clear that some of them are not inherently wrong (i.e. being affirmed by people in what you do), okay?  However, 1 Corinthians 12-13 were one of the key eye-openers for me.  Even though this passage in Scripture does not directly deal with pride, it provides us a wider, deeper perspective why anyone can’t be called a “super-Christian” nor any individual be called a “complete package”.  Why?  Answer’s simple.  Each of us were designed and gifted differently.

It may sound cliché for a moment there, but a perspective that seems commonplace may be frequently neglected, right?  Hence, let’s dissect the idea a bit further.

Each individual has been designed differently. 

God has given every human being unique gifts. 

However, there’s a limitation there.  No one can possess everything.

So, what does this have to do with the problem of pride?

Scriptures say that spiritual gifts were for the building up of the body of Christ, the church.  Note that we serve as different parts of a single body.

Therefore, if one would just decide to accept the fact that he/she can’t have nor do everything on his/her own, pride should be set aside.  Pride is unnecessary.  What’s more thrilling to grasp is that if one would yield to the paradigm that all of us are merely helping each other, contributing to something larger than ourselves, then pride should be pushed out of the way.  Again, pride won’t be of any help at all.

This “I’m-more-than-enough” (or you could say, “I’m-overqualified”) life view limits our vision, primarily because all we see is but ourselves. In this manner, we simply feed our E-G-O.  However, only if we would just recognize and view each of us, as pieces of a ginormous mosaic – a God-sized canvas – that surpasses all comprehension, then the spotlight veers away from the poor puny egocentric “me”… towards the glory of the Maker and Giver of our gifts.

Is it bad to be recognized? Not at all!  Be thankful!

Yet we just need to be sold out to the fact that it’s really never about us. It’ll never will.  For from everlasting to everlasting, it was always about Him.

“Church: Day One” (A Study Guide on Acts 1-2)

“Church:  Day One” (A Study Guide on Acts 1-2)


Introduction

When we think of church, why is a building the first thing that comes to mind? Is church a place full of robes and pews? Bands and banners? Or is church meant to be something different?

Originally, the church began as a movement.  Not only did the teachings launch the church, but the testimonies of those who witnessed the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  A moment in history began this movement.

However, when about 300 years passed, the definition of the church transitioned from a “movement” to a “location” (kirche – German word for the “Lord’s house”), which may be considered a form of retrogression to the Old Testament temple/synagogue.

Additional Information:

*Derivatives of CHURCH:  EKKLESIA (Gr.) = assembly, gathering, congregation

*William Tyndale – 16th century scholar/translator; he was the first to translate considerable parts of the Bible into English for a public, lay readership. Sadly, he was betrayed by a friend, named a heretic, was strangled and burnt at the stake.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of church?
  2. What were your first/early experiences of attending church? Were those positive or negative experiences?
  3.  Read Matthew 16:17-18 and Acts 1:7-8. In your words, how would you define church? How would you define the mission of the church?
  4. After reading the first two chapters in Acts, what sticks out to you the most about that “first day” of church?
  5. If the church began as a movement, how do you see the church moving today?
  6.  If the church began as a movement, what can you do to be a part of that movement?

Changing Your Mind

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far offfor all whom the Lord our God will call.”Acts 2:38-39

Time to Level Up

We are the church or “temples” of God (Holy Spirit; cf. 1 Cor. 6:19).  Therefore, we should start living like one.

*Note: Items written in this study guide were a combination of the author/blogger’s personal research and those from North Point Community Church’s “Big Church” series.