I love editing the stories for the We are Unveiled Blog. It’s incredible to be able to take the raw, uncut stories of these women’s victories in Christ and make them more easily understandable to the reader. I’ve learned that editing the works of others is much more enjoyable than editing my own work.
One of the things I try to coach people on when they’re writing their story is to use ‘me’ and ‘I’ language. Telling your story is very different than preaching a sermon or writing an essay-style blog post. It’s incredibly easy to fall into this trap of using ‘we’ and ‘our’ and even ‘you’, instead of ‘me’ and ‘I’ — I do it all the time! But those two groupings of words convey entirely different messages.
Honestly, I was nervous to start this book. With a topic like self-focus, I was sure this book was going to be accusatory. But Free of Me isn’t. Within the first few pages of the book, I felt like she had welcomed me into her home, made me a cup of tea, and invited me to her table where she was sharing her story.
“…at the end of the day people-pleasing is really in service to yourself.”
But I’m a servant! I love to serve others. I care about the well-being of others, often while neglecting myself; surely self-centeredness can’t touch me when I’m serving others, right? Wrong!
After I read that sentence, I had to stop and meditate on it for a little while. As I began to reflect on just that one statement, I began to realize just how selfish my service of others had been over the years. My serving other people has been based on if it was convenient for me. If someone asked me to do something on a day that I didn’t feel like it, to do a task that I didn’t enjoy doing, that took place more than a few miles from my house, I wasn’t willing to do it.
And, more than that, I expected people to praise me for my service and lavish their appreciation upon me for helping them out with whatever issue they were having — talk about some unhealthy expectations and a wrong motivation for serving. I really had made serving, the thing I feel like I was put on the earth to do, all about me, instead of God and his people.
I’m not perfect. I’m still a really selfish person and I focus on myself a lot, but I’m much more aware of it than I was before I read this book. Now, when I’m presented with an opportunity to serve someone that’s inconvenient for me, I’m reminded of Sharon’s words. The mirror is held up to my selfishness and I’m forced to look myself in the face. I don’t choose correctly every time but I love that I’m now I am beginning to understand just how freeing it is when life isn’t all about me.
Check out Free of Me and experience the richness of a life that’s not all about you.
Have you read Free of Me? What was your biggest takeaway?
Do you think you suffer from self-focus? Why or why not?
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