IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT ME
By DANNY MINTON
Several years back there was an animated movie entitled, “The Emperor’s New Groove.” The villain in the film was an ugly woman, described as “scarier beyond all reason,” whose name was Yzma (eezma). Her sidekick was a big dumb looking guy, who provided comic relief in the movie, named Kronk. There is one scene in the movie where Kronk is talking to a squirrel in squirrel language of course. The scene goes:
Yzma: Are you talking to that squirrel?
Kronk: I was a junior chipmunk, uh, and I had to be versed in all the woodland creatures.
Kronk: Please continue.
[squirrel talks to Kronk]
Yzma: [walking away shaking her head] Why me? Why me? Why me? Why…?
Kronk: Hey, it doesn’t always have to be about you!
“It doesn’t always have to be about you.” That one phrase is one of the greatest obstacles that many of us face in dealing with each other. It seems like most complaints that come our way are usually around what someone likes or doesn’t like or what he or she believes. It often comes down to “I don’t think,” “I don’t like,” “It bothers me,” “I wish” etc. It’s rare that anyone will actually bring out a Bible and say what they think God thinks or teaches according to His word.
It’s important that we learn to look at things through God’s eyes and the eyes of those we are trying to reach instead of thinking that what we do has to pass the “I think, I like, I want” test. It’s also the same within the leadership. When we realize that everyone has the same voice, then we can learn to listen better instead of pushing for the “I” opinions.
When approached with the “I” attitude the first step should be to ask, “Why do you think this way, why does it bother you, or do you think God has a problem with it?” Simply being a sounding board does not help. It’s important to look for the root of the problem and then take action to deal with each other in a loving, caring way. Most of the time helping people see things from a different perspective helps them realize, “It doesn’t always have to be about me.” Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s wrong or bad.
Unfortunately, a lot of folks are like a man named Carlos. Carlos was standing on the subway platform in Harlem when a man fell off and onto the track. A train was arriving in three minutes, so Carlos jumped down on the tracks and helped the man up to safety. When interviewed, he said that he thought if this man got hit I wouldn’t get to work and since it was Sunday he received time and a half for his pay. The act of heroism wasn’t for the man but done out of a selfish motive. It was all about him.
Paul wrote to the Philippians “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others”.
The more that we learn and teach others and ourselves that it is not all about our wants and desires, but what is best for the kingdom, the stronger the bond will be between one another. The stronger the bond, the stronger the relationships and the stronger the relationships, the stronger the body.
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.
1 Corinthians 10:24
\Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ