Getting Outside Yourself

When I was younger, I tried writing poetry. There was a recurring theme that just happened. It wasn’t planned, necessarily. The theme was getting outside yourself to get to know yourself.

Leo Babauta, in a recent blog post, talked about living in a little personal bubble and how we need to get out of that bubble.

What was it, 30 or 40 years ago, when Time magazine labelled my generation as the “Me Generation”? Books have been written over the past few years about the age of Narcissism. I recently counted more than 10 recent books on living with or relating with a narcissist.

I don’t think that “me first” is unique to this generation, though. When I reflect on literature of every age even into the most ancient texts, I read men and women full of wisdom teaching about getting out of that “personal bubble” and living first for God and then for others.

One of the top goals I had for leading people into missions is to get them to see the plight of others and perhaps get outside their personal bubble and begin to think of others first instead of themselves.

One of the reasons to practice Spiritual Disciplines such as study, prayer, celebration and service is to put yourself on the track of placing your attention on God and others.

One of my small groups is studying Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur. The author takes us into the personalities of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples and look at how he changed them. Regarding Phillip, he writes that Phillip was the sort of person who needs a list. But Jesus gave guidelines. Jesus gave him the freedom from lists to go out and concentrate on other people.

Jesus guidelines? Love The Lord your God with all your soul, and heart, and mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself.

It’s all about getting out of your bubble and living for others. What actually happens is the joy and satisfaction and fulfillment you were seeking from within your personal bubble doesn’t arrive until you get out of your bubble.

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