My husband is the hero of his dreams. Many mornings, when we wake up, he recounts his subconscious adventures, all of which seem to revolve around the same theme: Caleb wins and wins epically.
I, on the other hand, am not the hero of my dreams. Instead, I am usually the one who needs to be rescued, watching enviously as a hero comes and pulls me from the mess of my own making.
Either way, whether we think highly of ourselves or not, the hero of the story or the problem, one thought is true for humankind: we are our own main characters. The stories of our lives unfold through one perspective: how was I affected? How do I feel? What do I think?
We allow our experiences and how we interpret them, to determine the truths of the world around us. Instead of an absolute truth, one defined by God alone, the one and only creator, it is “my truth”.
In fact, I believe that without God, it is impossible to avoid this main character mindset. It is natural, it is survival. The minute we are born we are acutely aware of our own needs and are obsessed with how to meet them.
However, when we surrender ourselves to Christ, joining in his death as we die to our flesh, we also join in His resurrection. We are made new, alive in His Spirit, no longer a slave to sin (our own main character mindsets being a piece of this) but a slave to righteousness (Romans 6).
As Paul writes in Romans 12:3 NIV, “…do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”
In fact, he takes it a step farther in verses four and five: “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Not only are we not the main characters, we are to view ourselves as one body with our fellow believers, following the true main character of this story, the head who is Christ Jesus. Without God, we are our own bodies, belonging to ourselves alone, confined to our own limited constructs and strengths. We have no choice but to serve our flesh, all of our energy and efforts focused on meeting our own selfish needs and desires. Who else will?
With God, we still have our own individual roles, talents and gifts (given to us by God), however, as they are interwoven with all of the other individual gifts and talents in the body, with Christ as the directing head, we become an unstoppable force for God’s glory. Not only does God look out for us and take care of our needs, but so do the other parts of our body as well. As Paul stated in verse five, we belong to each other!
Rachel, you are stepping on our cultural toes, undermining our philosophy of individuality, pulling the rug of self-security out from under our feet!
It’s about time.
Our friends and families are suffering from so much anguish because we carry the insecurities individualism breeds. We were made to be part of something much bigger and eternal; God’s family.