When Did It Become About Me? (When Self Gets in the Way)

How easy it is for my good intentions to turn to self-promotion or self-preservation! 

Satan has a way of turning our focus from where it should be to where he wants it, usually on ourselves. If he can keep us intent on seeking our own pleasure, we won’t fulfill God’s plan for us. 

The enemy is sneaky, often using good things to turn our focus self-ward.

Recently I went on a retreat with a group of women who want to wholeheartedly follow the Lord. I couldn’t wait to meet them all. A few I had previously met in person; most I only knew virtually. 

For me the retreat was about supporting the lovely hostess, Author and Speaker Suzie Eller, connecting with more ladies who had a heart for Christ, and sharing encouragement whenever I could.

Focus on God not self.

Too Much Self

Then Satan got a toe-hold, tempting me with a love I find hard to resist. And although the weekend was still beautiful and meaningful, I left there offering and receiving less than I should have. 

Instead of being present to encourage the hearts of mothers in the throes of  painful situations, I spent extra hours wandering the trails of the ranch. Instead of helping women overcome phobias that kept them from enjoying the fullness of God’s creation, I walked off to enjoy the perfect spring weather. 

I didn’t do anything bad. I just didn’t do all the good I could have. 

It’s not that I shouldn’t have gone hiking. It’s that I first should have sought His guidance on how and when to minister to the hearts and souls of the ladies sharing the bunkrooms with me. 

It’s not that I didn’t do enough to earn my reward (salvation CANNOT be earned!). It’s that I missed some beautiful experiences God had intended for me. 

It’s not that I didn’t/don’t love the Lord. It’s that I didn’t/don’t always keep Him central in my days. 

When Did It Become About Me?

So when did it become about me? When did this retreat shift to be about my edification? When did life become about what makes me comfortable and happy?

There are 7.4 billion people in the world. If everyone of those people only concerned themselves with themselves, we’d have one sorry planet. And to a large extent we do.

When sin entered the world through Satan’s successful temptation of Eve and then Adam, our focus shifted from God-centered to self-centered. It’s a continual battle today.

We have to constantly be on our toes to thwart the enemy’s attempt to subvert our godly focus.

We have to constantly be on our toes to thwart the enemy's attempt to subvert our godly focus. Click To Tweet

This life is not about me. It’s about God.

It’s not about what I think. It’s about what He knows.  

Yet our lives can too easily become about us. Even subtly.

Our actions can quickly become about what makes us happy. Even within what looks to be a God-focused experience.  

Let Your Actions Proclaim, “What a Great Savior!”

We are to live our lives not to say, “what a great ‘Julie,'” but to proclaim, “what a great Savior!”

We are to live our lives to proclaim, 'what a great Savior!' Click To Tweet

Purposing to encourage others and share the love of Christ with them is a beginning. Yet it cannot be accomplished if it remains an intention. 

Fulfilling our purpose to “Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation (Mark 16:15)” and to “love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)” requires that those intentions turn into actions. 

Purposing to share the love of Christ with others is a beginning. Yet our good intentions need to become actions. Click To Tweet

And that means remembering at all times who this life is ultimately about. Almighty God should take center stage, always, in all we say and do.

It’s never about me or you. It’s never been about me or you.

It’s about reaping the abundant joy and contentment of serving where God calls in the manner He directs.

It’s about harvesting the fruit of a life lived to glorify the Lord.

It’s about loving Him as He first and always loved and continues to loves. 

I’m not saying my experience at the retreat was less than.

I enjoyed it immensely. I made some amazing friends. I connected deeply with God. I laughed and wept and played alongside girls intent on devoting their lives to their Father. I learned valuable life-long lessons (read about them here). 

What I am saying is that during those times when my heart shifted, ever so slightly, from what God wanted to what I desired, I missed a deeper level of intimacy and joy He had planned for me. 

That’s the trade off Satan wants to win every time. That’s why God cautions us to run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1c-2a), not on self or circumstance (which is still about self).

With the help of the Lord, you and I can continue to make imperfect progress toward glorifying Him in all we say and do. And more fully reap the blessings of following after Him. 

With God's help, you & I can continue to make imperfect progress toward glorifying Him in all we say & do. Click To Tweet

My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.” Psalm 25:15

Reflections: When do you most often find your eyes shifting from God to self? 

Going on 5 years of counting and I’m nearing 5,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #4,936–4,956. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • A day home to get caught up; My hubby’s awesome handling of everything in my absence; Beautiful evening for Joey’s soccer game, so we could take Rach, and Mom and Dad even joined us
  • Beautiful spring flowers along my hiking trail; Rainy spring day, good for hanging inside; Nowhere to go tonight
  • A precious long-overdue phone conversation with a dear friend; A second-in-a-row “better” day for my daughter at school; Nice phone conversation with my oldest
  • Long phone call with a niece who lives many states away; Looking back and actually seeing growth; My girl’s joy at receiving a book on cats
  • Exciting opportunities opening up for our oldest; Beauty of a life lived long and now Home in the arms of her Savior; Ability to travel long distance to our youngest’s soccer game
  • Blessing of 15 years with my baby boy!; Lovely afternoon of gardening; Treating the birthday boy to a scrumptious Nutella dessert pizza and gifts after a day of fun with his friends
  • Worship and fellowship followed by a beautiful afternoon of garden prep; Discovering more fun and tasty wild edible recipes; Movie night

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

4 comments on “When Did It Become About Me? (When Self Gets in the Way)
  1. Great word Julie, I know that as soon as I my feet hit the floor each morning (actually before) I start seeking what Jon wants for the day. It is hard to keep a focus on living a life for His glory. it is especially difficult when days are hard and we want an easy way out.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      So true, Jon, but I think it may be deceptively difficult to stay focused on God when things are good. We need Him less and thus focus on our pleasure. Regardless, it’s a continual battle and one which God arms us for, but we have to use the weapons/tools at our disposal.

  2. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    When I worked in a library, someone came in and asked me if we had a book, entitled,”It’s All About Him.” I had not heard of the book, written by Denise Jackson. I made a somewhat offhand remark. The person then told me the “Him” was Jesus. A little over a year- and- a- half ago, I was sitting in a meeting held in our church library. On the shelf behind our chairs were several books. The one that stood out to me was, “It’s All About Him.” I had three on my ‘stack to read,’ so I didn’t take it. I haven’t seen it since. The Sunday school class I am presently in meets in that room. I have looked for it and I will until I find it. I need to read it for myself.

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