I have a vision problem. My ‘I’ sight is impaired. Instead of asking how can I serve others I seem to constantly focus on how I can be served. This self-centered attitude comes across in many ways. In ministry, it affects how available I am to be with students. It’s hard to invest in the lives of others when I’m so wrapped up in my own. My vision problem affects how I work with my husband in planning events and programs. I tend to think my ideas are the best and only way to proceed. My poor vision makes me prideful and condescending to others. My impaired vision makes it difficulty to see God working because I’m too busy watching what’s going on in my life.
Maybe you also have to constantly keep watch on your ‘I’ sight. It’s very easy to feel like your ministry or team should take priority or that your ideas and methods are the best way to proceed. If we aren’t careful though we can become consumed by the projects we have and the plans we make, so much so that we forget about the people we serve.
And this self-centered view is a devastating failing. It not only separates us from others, it separates us from God and then keeps us distanced from Him. Because of our pride we either can’t admit we have a problem or we can’t admit that we can’t fix the problem. Both self-focused attitudes keep us from letting God’s grace work in us.
But what if rather than seeking our own agendas we shut our eyes and were led by God? What if we really started seeing the world through His eyes instead of our own? Philippians 2:1-4 states, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
As leaders we set the example of viewing those around us as God does. If we ask Him, God will graciously help us see others as more important than ourselves. He will lovingly correct our ‘I’ sight by allowing us to see through His eyes. I pray that God would change my perspective because I want to have His vision more than anything else.
Natalie Elliott resides in Frisco, TX with her husband, Dave, who serves as student pastor of Legacy Church. They have two beautiful girls, Abby, 4, and Carli, 16 months. The whole family loves hanging with students!