It’s Not About Me

“Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens,” (Psalm 148:13 NIV).

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Some of my Girlfriends in God are not going to like this devotion. I’m not even sure I do. But I’m going to put it out there anyhow. During the month of February, I write devotions on marriage. It is the month of love, and marriages certainly are in shambles all around the world. It is a month when I celebrate marriage!

Each February, I am flooded with e-mails: some are appreciative for the reminders on how to love their husbands, some are hurting because they are in their own struggling marriage, and some are broken hearted because of shattered dreams. These women are so thankful for the balm of God’s truth in a very tender area of their lives.

But I also receive e-mails from women who are not married, who do not like the attention to marriage at all. They are flat out angry and frustrated because the devotions do not pertain to them. The same type of complaints comes in during the month of May when I write about Motherhood. And girlfriend, some of those e-mails are not pretty.

I’ve seen the same thing in church. “I didn’t like that sermon.” “I didn’t like the singing today.” “I couldn’t relate to that teaching.”And on and on we go. You know what I’ve discovered…It’s not about me. It is all about God. If the pastor is preaching on a topic that is not my struggle, I pray that God will open my eyes to new truths that I’ve never seen. If he is talking about losing a loved one, I pray for those who have lost a loved one recently…even though that not might not be my struggle at that particular time. Is the teaching on raising young children? I have a grown son, so I pray for those who are in the throes of raising the next generation.

One Sunday, I was singing in church. Barely singing, I might add. It was a dry old hymn and I just wasn’t into it. Then I looked at an older women a few seats down and she had tears trickling down her wrinkled face. She was moved to tears by that old hymn and was taken to the throne room of grace. “Oh Father,” I prayed. “Please forgive me. This is not about me. It’s not about what I like or dislike. It is all about You. Truth is truth. Worship is worship. Help my focus be on You and You alone. It’s not about me.

Listen to how David focused on God during worship:

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.                   Psalm 62:5-8

Teach me your ways, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.Psalm 86:112

So let’s commit to remember together…it’s not about me. It’s all about God.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, please forgive me when I make worship and Bible study all about me. The purpose of my worship is to give glory to You and You alone, not to make me feel better. The purpose of Bible study is to learn what Your Word has to say about Your character and Your ways and to discover the truths that lead me into the way of righteousness. I praise You! I thank You! I worship You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen

What Do You Think? 

Here is a fun exercise.  Go back and pick out one of your favorite chapters in the Bible. Now, focus on the verses that you DID NOT underline.

Here is a wonderful Psalm to use for your extended prayer time today. Open your Bible to Psalm 136 and pray that prayer of praise with David. Don’t skip over the repeated refrains…His love endures forever! He repeats it for a reason. David meant it. God wants us to get it!

Want More?

I will be beginning a new on-line Bible study, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More, on March 4th. If you feel like something is missing in your spiritual life, then this study is for you. Here’s a little good news: the answer is not found in what God wants from you, but what God wants for you. It’s not too late to sign up. I’d love for you to join us. Click here to learn more and sign up. The sign up is on the right hand side of the page.

43 Responses to It’s Not About Me

  1. Junie February 27, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

    LOVED this…it’s good to remember that there is a message for us in every Word. We just have to be open to receive it. And what if you can’t find your message?? Then pray in thanksgiving for all the hearts that have been touched, healed, opened by that message, and you will find yours there! :) Everytime I say “Thank You, God” I realize just how thankful I truly am, and then I am blessed all over again!!

  2. Sheila February 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Wow! I can’t tell you enough how much I needed to read this today.. I have been struggling with this exact thing.. and I’m definately signing up for the Bible Study.. God always amazes me at what he puts in my inbox for things I need to hear at just he perfect time! I hope you have an amazing day and thank you for your post today!

  3. Michelle Luscombe February 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    I appreciate your devotions so much. This one especially got to me. I’ve been following your February ones about marriage and while I have a very good marriage I found these to be so insightful and helpful. But I have also been on the other side of some messages where I felt they didn’t really pertain to me. Thanks for the aha moment. It’s not about me… it’s never been about me! It’s all about God. But God uses all these things to guide us in the path he wants us to follow. I get so focused on myself and what I can learn that I forget that it should be about praising and thanking God. He will do the rest. We just need to be open to whatever he wants for us. Thank you!!! You said that some will not like this devotion; that may be true, but I think we can ALL identify and be convicted by it. We are human and fall prey to this thinking. Thank you for making me see this and I will try to be more disciplined to letting it be about God and not me.

  4. Debra February 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I am a widow for 7 yrs. I love your devotions, and even though my husband is not here with me, I still pray for marriages all over. I thank God for you following his lead and doing his work. You and your family are in my prayers always. Keep up the good work.

  5. Joyel Hidber February 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Amen!!! I went through the same kind of thing, but I discovered this truth several years ago, and you are right, it’s about Jesus! Praise God! John 3:30.

  6. Andrea February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Good morning,
    Thank you for this, I certainly needed it. I don’t want to say that I complain when a sermon, song or teaching doesn’t pertain to me, but I have a tendency to tune it out. I will no longer be doing that. I will read or listen with an open heart and pray for it to touch someone.
    Thank you so much for starting my morning out with such a tremendous message.
    Blessings,
    Andrea

  7. Colleen February 27, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

    Oh my Gosh, Sharon…I am so glad that you chose to write about this today. This is something I say all the time, and it pertains to so many things that take us away from God and giving Him the glory. He deserves our undivided attention, and whenever we make it about ourselves, we take that attention and glory away from God. If all Christians could get that one thing and keep it in their hearts…this world would be a much better place in which to live. We recently had a huge amount of people leave our church…throughout the past year. And one of the reasons I believe, is because it was all about them (invidually), instead of being all about God. One couple would leave because they were upset about something, and then another couple would leave a few weeks later because their friend was “hurt” by someone or something. If we all keep our eyes ‘vertical’ (on Him), instead of ‘horizontal’ (looking at our own circumstances), and make it all about Him…life could be so much easier all the way around, and we could save ourselves a lot of turmoil. So thank you, Sharon…you hit the nail on the head!

  8. Nora February 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    Amen Sharon. I am often amazed at what I learn from God, especially when I did not think it pertained to me.

  9. J Maxwell February 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    WOW OH WOW ! I needed just that! I think this should be printed boldly, every SUNDAY, in EVERY CHURCH BULLETIN ! I will keep it in my BIBLE. That you soooooooooo much! IN HIS ABUNDANT LOVE AND GRACE, Julie Maxwell

  10. Amy February 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    So many need to hear this!! I have felt this way before and then one day a friend was questioning something in his life and I was able to witness to him through a devetion I had read earlier that week that did not mean much to me, but meant the world to him. God is AMAZING in how He works. Thank you for these devotions!!

  11. Debra February 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thanks so much for your obedience in writing this devotional! Though I know it must be discouraging at times to receive less than friendly emails…just know that your faithfulness in following the Lord’s leading is blessing far more people than you will know this side of Heaven. People-pleasing is a battle we ALL face at some point in our lives, but you’ve chosen God-pleasing instead…THANK YOU!
    Debra

  12. Cincy February 27, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    As mentioned by several others, I really needed to hear this for several reasons.
    1. I usually tune out the sermon that doesn’t have anything in it ‘for me’. I am going to start focusin on NOT doing this.
    2. Because I do have a wonderful marriage, loved this month’s focus and actually did some of the things you suggested, I forgot about the folks who aren’t married and might have been saddened or angered by it. I need to remember them, BECAUSE…
    3. My husband and I were not able to have any children after our one and only pregnancy that ended in stillbirth. My initial reaction in May probably would have been the same as these folks – anger and hurt. But after reading this I realize I have choices about that. I can a)not read it if it causes me too much pain, or I can read it and pray for all of my friends who do have children and do face the challenges I am sure you will write about.
    Thanks for being courageous enough to open our eyes.

  13. Crystal February 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Amen! It is not all about me!
    Thanks for the tender reminder.

  14. Elaine February 27, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    RIGHT ON TARGET SHARON. If we pray to open our hearts and minds and remember that GOD is speaking through the person giving the sermon we will always find that GOD is speaking to us. As you related to in your posting, it may not pertain to us but gives us an opportunity to serve God by helping someone else. Blessings to you.

  15. Karlyn February 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Sharon,

    I believe that your devotion this morning was written simply and beautifully!! So many people forget what church is all about. Don’t let the negative comments people make get to you. I am so thankful for the Girlfriends in God daily devotionals. It starts my mornings out so that I concentrate more on God throughout the day and less on myself.

    I believe that even though the sermon or devotion or whatever it may be, even if it doesn’t pertain to you, I believe that you can still learn something from it and you never know when you might need it down the road.

    Thanks you again,
    Karlyn Ayres

  16. Anne February 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Love this devotional….so true!

  17. Jill February 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Wow! That is the truth and it helps take the focus off ourselves and places it where it needs to be- on God! A great lesson to look beyond ourselves in every moment and to listen to what He is telling us and to teach our children the same.

  18. Marian M Green February 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    When I first saw your topic for Feb I nearly cried because my heart hurt so bad. I feel that I gave up my right to be married 35 yrs ago after caving under enormous pressure to no longer be the oldest virgin on campus. That has never stopped me from wanting to be married, I just felt it was a blessing I had given up just to make the pressure go away. I did use your devotionals to pray for those who are married and that it would bless them. I know it did. I want to encourage you to keep sharing whatever it is that God lays on your heart. He is who you will answer to, not those who only want their ears tickled and don’t want to or are afraid to change. God Bless You and your GiG’s

  19. Caroline February 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    I’m a single Mom with 3 kids and when I saw the devotions on marriage, I just decided to skip them (honestly). But the thought never entered my mind to complain that the devotion didn’t apply to me right now! I recognize how important marriage is to so many people and I pray that God uses each blog to touch someone’s life. I really appreciate your devotionals and God has used them numerous times in my life. Thanks so much for all you do!

  20. Laura February 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    I’m not married and I’ve enjoyed this month’s posts immensely. See, though not married now I hope to be one day and everything I read on being a Godly wife NOW will help me in future to have a marriage that glorifies God. Marriage is under attack so your posts have been a gift to all of us.

  21. Donna February 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I have to say that February has been a very enlightening month for me as a wife. I am always eager to learn how God can use me to minister to my husband as well as improve our marriage. God has blessed me with such good information this month and I want to thank you so much, Sharon, for providing these lessons to us. For all the others who complain because the lessons are not directed to their needs at the time, be patient because at some special time when you feel like the devotions were written for YOU right at the time you needed it, you can begin to see that God addresses each one of our needs in HIS perfect time. We don’t get to set the schedule for when God ministers to hurting hearts because HE is the only one that truly knows us inside-and-out and loves His children all the same. Being self-centered and complaining will only bring trials where God provides us with lessons on how WE should be more like Him. Always seek God on how YOU can CHANGE to better serve Him. The Bible says we are not our own…we were bought with a price.

  22. Diane February 27, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    AMEN! Read Psalm 136, too…twenty-six times David reminds us “His love endures forever!” Praise His Glorious Name!

  23. kelley February 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Thank you as I needed this today. I stood for five years standing for my marriage to reconcile…then he remarried….so I prayed he would come to the lord. He took me thru a nasty custody battle and called my church all kinds of nasty things and I spent thousands to be able to take my daughter to that church….god reached him….and brought him to my church….where I have to sit listening to sermons about restoring broken relationships….it pushed me away from my church because I still hurt deeply….I made it all about me….

  24. Christina February 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

    Thank you for point me back to the Lord! My husband backslide a few years ago and got into some sin that caused so much pain in me and our grown children. He surrendered all and turned his focus back unto the Lord. My husband repeatedly said back then and since that his life is not about him but about Jesus. I ran across a shirt for him for his following birthday that says “it’s not about me” on the back is says “it’s about Jesus.

  25. Nancy Beneteau February 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm #

    Sharon I appreciate and love your devotions. I look forward to them every morning. They are one of the first things I read in the morning. True they don’t always pertain to me but somewhere down the road they may. If the devotions don’t strke a cord with me, there is always someone I am thinking of that your devotions would help.
    Your marriage devotions didn’t have the effect they should have because my husband is so self absorbed and materialistic that it depresses him. I go above and beyond to make him happy and it’s never enough. No matter what I do for him he always looks for the things I”ve done wrong or not good enough. I can barely remember the last time he came home and just said “You’ve done a good job today. or How was your day with the children? I loved your ideas and they’ve helped fuel my desire to pray that my husband has a change of heart soon.
    Thank you Sharon you are a blessing.
    Nancy

  26. Rosemary February 27, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Great devotion and reminder that it is ultimately about God and His glory alone. One way or another we are all connected and if a message isn’t directly pertaining to our lives it is definitely insightful and can be used to counsel others who may need it. God bless!!!

  27. Roberta February 27, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

    Sharon,
    Thanks for allowing the Lord to use you to boldly proclaim the truth. God is the one who deserves all the glory, honor and praise and we so need to think of others more highly than we think of ourselves. This is such a timely message especially as we see our society moving more towards a “my four and no more attitude.” May we all take this devotion and meditate upon it and allow it to permeate our entire being and hide it in our hearts so that we can make a difference in the lives of others. May He continue to bless and prosper you as you fulfill the plan that He designed for you!!!!

  28. Janine February 27, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Thank you for specific ways to pray for my nonbelieving husband from head to toe. What a blessing!

  29. Dyanne February 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Thank-you…Thank-you…Thank-you….Sharon. I so often need to be reminded of this message. I truly enjoyed your daily devotional on marriage as well. It really made me aware of some areas in my 30 year marriage where my heart had become hardened. Sometimes God just wants us to “cut to the chase” instead of looking the other way at our sin. You are such a blessing to so many.

  30. bea February 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Sharon, how i love your messages! They are right on… I love how Father God speaks to you and I usually need it! It is not all about me and i see this more and more…Thank you for all you do!!!

  31. Brenda February 28, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Thank you for your devotion to writing devotions that are a ministry to many. I think sometimes we readers depend on dedicated people such as yourself to be our source of hearing from God instead of going to Him personally and getting spiritual food from God’s own hand. God’s table is big enough for all of us, we just have to take time to pull up a chair to the table and wait on Him to serve us. Thank you for your service to God.

  32. Bonnie February 28, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Sharon, First I want to Thank You for reminding me it’s not about me!!! God has been very good to me and I spend time at least once a day simply saying thank you to Him.
    That is not why I wrote, I am not currently married, have been divorced for 14 yrs almost as long as I was married. What I have learned from your romancing your husband devotionals is also about how to love God. I don’t pray for Him head to toe, but I praise Him from my head to toe. I also learned how to finish my prayer from a little girl who prayed on K Love one day. Finish your prayer to God as you would finish a romantic evening with your husband, I love you Lord Jesus! It’s amazing how this makes me feel, and as I said I learned it from a child.
    Bonnie

  33. Carol March 1, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    Thank you for this. God never ceases to amaze me – it is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. It’s NOT about me. May God help us all to remember this, not only today but always. Thank you Sharon for all you encouragement as we journey together.

  34. Lisa R March 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    Always a great reminder…it never is about us but Him!! Even though I am going through a divorce so the painful reminders of Feb devotions about keeping a good marriage –what I couldn’t revive or do at that moment I could use for the future blessings of an even better marriage in my future & currently use to praise my loving Father God:). Bless you for taking the hard subjects & paths to open wounds to heal & come closer to our real purpose here on this earth. All for the glory to be closer- Amen!

  35. Amanda March 3, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for having enough courage to be honest and to remind us that it is all about our Heavenly Father. It is so very easy to complain and forget that that we are there for Him and in return He takes care of us. Love you darling Sharon.

  36. Pam March 3, 2013 at 2:12 am #

    Hi Sharon, I read your message on IT’S NOT ABOUT ME and wow. My pastor had just talked about the same thing in a class i am taking and it so convicted me i repented and ask God to forgive me. It is embarrassing to see. He talked about the fallow ground areas of our heart that have not been broken up before God’ Sanctification Who really owns me. How so many people go in and out of church bible study but not really changed. So i am going to work hard at making Jesus the center not me of my life. Thank you so much for all you do. Love you Pam

  37. Kitty March 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    Sharon
    This is a great devotional message, I am passing it on to so many friends and Bible study members.

  38. Elizabeth Bowers March 4, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    I want to say I am so thankful for this story, I want to say what I am thankful for . I am very thankful for God waking me up this morning, and Jesus. I am vary thankful for the 2 great sons God has giving me and the family he put me with when I was born, even though I had some very hard sad times growing up, but I became strong from that,I am also thankful for the man he put into my life, who I have been with for 16yrs and 9months, we are waiting to get married very soon. Wayne and I had a hard road, but we stuck together through it. We both were drug addicts,and now we are recovering drug addicts, we have 5yrs and 4 months clean, see in Oct.2,2012, he got arrested for defending his life and home and my dad’s life. He had asked a couple of men not to do something close to our house, and they got mad about it and chased him and threatened him, well in the process of this, my soon to be husband was calling me to tell me what was going on, and I was in Bible study this was our first week, so while he was calling me, the one guy thought he was calling the police, so he did and told them my husband came after him with what look like a shot gun.So the police came and arrested my husband,Well the charged him with 1st degree assault, and 2nd degree assault, using a gun in a volient crime, and gun charges, cause see we had guns in the house, but they belong to my father in law, who had just pass away, and left them to my brother in law, plus his guns where here to. Both my father in law and brother in law were hunters. The police said from my husband having felonies which are 13, 20, and 30 yrs old, he was not suppose to be around them. But they did not want to hear that he did not do anything and they did not lock the other gentle men up. He is still sitting in jail, they gave him a no bail, but I seen where people killed someone and shot, or stab someone and get a bail. My husband worked everyday, and come home and stayed in, he did not bother anyone at all, stay to his self. Even the neighbors told the police he did not do anything the other guys did, Yes I was very angry for awhile, but I realize God had him put in there for a reason, see my husband was also drinking a lot, but still he stay in the house. But I believe God knew he was getting bad., and he was going to hurt his self what I mean his health and God has beautiful plans for Wayne, and also Wayne is off of the methadone. Which we both got on to stay off of drugs. And when Wayne goes th trial God well have them find him not guilty and release him. See the state drop all the charges, but the feds pick him up and charge him for being around the guns. So can you please keep praying for him, and also God has helped me in a few ways, I am a dietbetic, and have Hep.C. which is a liver diease, and I was on a treatment, and it made me so sick, so the Dr.’s toke me off of it, and I feel much better. And this last week has been a big blessing to, I have been sleeping much better. And my dad is happier now to, he has been praying and asking God to let my brothers and myself, get back together, see since I was into drugs my brothers would not talk to me at all, but since last week ,my brother and I started talking more, and that is a big step, and this is my baby brother, see my brothers were my babies, I help raise them, when I worked during the summer, I would buy them things, then when I had my sons and their dad was not around a lot they helped me with them, they would help my mom baby sit my sons while I worked, and they loved it, specially at Christmas time.I want to say thank you for listening to me, and letting me shared. May God bless u

  39. Betty March 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Sharon,
    I enjoyed your devotion today because it touches a lot about what I have been going through. There is one thing you said that I don’t agree with. You said they were singing the dry old hymns. I don’t believe that there is any “dry old hymns” when these hymns are sung from the heart, how can they be dry? God had a purpose for each song that was penned and as you said its not about me, its about Him. To me these “dry old hymns” as you said has brought a lot of people through some really hard times. They have lifted my spirits more than once in my life. They tell a story about God’s love, His mercy and His grace. They touch hearts and change lives. I heard a comment the other day at our church, when one of the worship leaders was asked to sing a few of the older hymns and her reply was what hit me hard, she said, “i don’t know any older hymns”. To me this really struck home because if our younger generation aren’t taught the older hymns they are losing out on a precious gift from God. These hymns were written mostly by people who were going through tremendous sufferings and they teach how God touched them and brought them through. They teach about Heaven and so many other things and I think that we are doing the younger genereations an injustice if we don’t teach the older hymns to them. They contain the Words of God penned by human hand through his guiding and leading. We have to realize,as you said, its not about what we want, but about what God wants. These older hymns lift up God’s name as well as some of the contempary songs/choruses of today. thanks for your devotions they life my spirits and sometimes they convict me, but thats what I need at the time. God bless

  40. Susan March 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Love, love love this! I needed this, I am at a rough spot in my life and my son who has recently dedicated his life to the Lord tells me everyday,”Mom, dont worry, just pray God has you.” He has really layed on thick but, I appreciate it because I have let myself slip into such a depression it efffects everything. God has me!! and loves me! Thank you! <3

  41. Steve March 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    “it is finished!”

  42. Nicole July 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Sharon,
    I know this is an old post, but I just found it today; I have to reach out to you and thank you for staying true to the whisper of God on your heart. Because I am 28, my whole life I have wanted nothing more to be a loving wife and mother. So as I approach the close of another relationship, I find encouragement in reading your posts in February and May because I know it is God preparing my heart for the things to come. Scripture tells us to lead by example, which is certainly what you do, however the unspoken part of that text implies that we have to submit and learn from the example God places before us. So please stay true to the promptings of your heart, and be encouraged because for every disgruntled email; there is one young woman walking away feeling excited prepared.

    • Sharon July 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm #

      Thank you so much for your email. It is a treasure that I hang on to today.
      Love you. Mean it.

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