The "Me" Epidemic

438D99C7-F6BF-43CA-8BD2-22FE28E09BB0.JPG

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an epidemic as an outbreak of disease that spreads quickly and affects many individuals at the same time.

Over the years our world has experienced many different epidemics of varying magnitudes. We could have a history lesson and go through each one, but I’ll spare you that for today.

We’re going to focus on a singular national epidemic that is sweeping through our communities without recognition. The “Me” Epidemic.

Don’t believe me?

Try keeping score of how many thoughts, words, and actions in your day are centered around “me”.

This is where you roll your eyes and say: “That’s ridiculous. I don’t have time for that”.

I agree.

But I’ve made my point. Just the pure thought of trying to keep track of how many times a day we worry about ourselves or give precedence to our personal desires is tiring.

I’m hungry. I’m tired. I need alone time. I need social time. I don’t feel like doing that. My feelings are hurt.

As Americans we are very inward focused people.

For example, all the modern movements of today are inward focused. How do I feel? Who am I? What rights do I deserve?

Never, ever, do we hear today’s popular movements asking: “How does this affect others?”

Now, I’m not saying its a bad thing to stand up for your own rights or notice that you are hungry, or tired, or need alone time. We have to take care of ourselves. An empty water pitcher can not fill up another water pitcher.

The danger is when our lives become consumed by whether or not we are meeting our personal desires and getting what we deserve, versus if we are meeting God’s desires and giving Him what He deserves.

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
— Matthew 16:25 (ESV)

We were never intended to live for ourselves. The Bible is very clear what our main priority is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these,” (Mark 12:30-31 NIV).

I don’t read anywhere in there: “but love yourself the most of all".

If you do, then you may want to get your eyes checked.

The fact is, this idea that we need to look out for ourselves first and foremost is Biblically incorrect.

God says to “love your neighbor as yourself”. That means not more or less than. Equally.

So who’s opinion is more important? Who’s feelings are more important? Who’s time is more precious? Who’s alone time is more important? Who’s needs, desires, or fiances are more important?

Not mine, not yours, not his, nor hers. No one is more important or less important than any other person. Including yourself.

We are all equal in God’s eyes. So who are we to say that God’s eyes are wrong by living a lifestyle that declares that I am more important than those around me?

Now, we can’t control the way the world walks this out. And your responsibility isn’t to let your neighbor know how selfish they are.

We are responsible for how we act. I am responsible for my own strand of the “Me” Epidemic.

Want to know the cure?

A shot of humility and a dose of genuine love for God and the humanity He created.

It will hardly ever be easy. We are in a war, after all.

However, if we choose daily to lay down our lives for Christ and follow Him. If we choose to love and care for our neighbors as ourselves. If we choose not to let our selfishness get in the way of blessing others. Then you will find not only are you epidemic free, but life is more fulfilling and joyful.

Yes, there is so much life and fulfillment outside of your little sphere of “me, me, me”. You just need to choose to step out.

So the next time that needy friend messages you during your Saturday “me time” wanting to talk over coffee, check yourself before making an excuse not to go.

Author: Natalie Martin - Staff