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I'm not the centre of the universe (and neither are you)!

Why do we always want to make everything about us? Well, actually the answer to that is simple enough - after all, Augustine said the very essence of sin was to be turned in on yourself - incurvatus in se. And yet we persist in living our lives as if everything were about us. We want other people to revolve around us. We want church life and church services to revolve around us. And so we ask of a meeting, is it convenient for me? And will I enjoy it? We even have the propensity to listen to sermons that are all about me and sing songs about what I'll do, what I want, and what I'll receive. Even church, it seems, can so easily become all about me.

Yet that's not the life that God calls us to. He is not a God who comes to our aid to help us better enjoy a life turned in on itself. No. He is the out-looking and out-going God, who has sent His Son and His Spirit to turn our lives, not so much upside down as inside out. We are made in His image and being renewed by His Spirit in the image of His Son. So if He is not turned in on Himself, that's not the plan for us either. As He looks out, goes out, and reaches out, so we are to look out, go out, and reach out. To be turned in on yourself is of the essence of sin, because it is the opposite of the Triune God.

I'm not the centre of the universe. But if I live my life turned in on myself, then I'm living as if I were. If everything's about me, then in all things I take the preeminence. Yet God has made it clear to us in His Word that it's Christ who is to have the preeminence, not me (Col. 1:18). Christ is at the centre of the universe, not me (Eph. 1:10).

So, if I'm being renewed in the image of Christ, then there should be a shift in the centre of my universe; a shift away from the false centre in myself to the true centre in Christ. And that means that a transformation occurs; rather than being turned in on myself, I should be turned out to Christ. Rather than looking in to myself, my gaze is outward towards Christ. And as God in Christ goes out and reaches out to humanity, so in turn I find myself going out and reaching out, first to Christ who is the centre of the universe, and then through Him and with Him to lost mankind.

Only seeing the true centre of the universe will enable us to turn outward. So let our fellowship together be filled with encouragement in Christ. Let our songs and sermons be full of Jesus. Let's not fall back into turning in ourselves, but fix our gaze outward and upward on the glory and grace of our crucifed and risen Saviour.

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