Donald Miller in his book, Blue Like Jazz writes,
“The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this: Life is a story about me.”
Rick Warren opened his best selling book, Purpose Driven Life with the words. “It’s not about you.”
If we think life is just about us, then our story is too small. People around us are not bit players or supporting actors in our story. In fact what we find in the Bible is the reminder that whilst we are considered valuable and precious to God, we are invited to be part of a much grander story.
As Paul writes the book of Ephesians, he is alerting his readers to the new story they have been invited into. They have been called into being part of a new counter cultural community which Jesus makes possible. A community which breaks down all the barriers which so often divide, and a community which is called to make God known in the world. It is not a story about us, it is a much bigger, much grander story.
In this story we are invited to play an active part. To “live a life worthy of the calling” (Ephesians 4: 1). Paul calls his readers to pursue particular character qualities such as humility, gentleness, patience and a preparedness to bear with one another. He also invites us to seek unity, when so often our inclination is to separate and divide. Furthermore he reminds us that we have been given gifts by God.
We are not given gifts because this is a story about us. We are given gifts “to equip his (God’s) people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
God gifts us so that you and I can join him in serving others. Each of us has a unique and critical part to play in this grand story. The gifts are not for us alone they are part of the new story.
When you are tempted to think life is a story about you, remember that you are thinking too small. The life you can live is so much bigger than you. Relish and release the gifts you have been given to serve others, fight for unity, and make choices that will foster in you the character qualities that are worthy of the call you have on your life.