7 Life-Changing Words that Set Us Free

I have been reflecting on this year, the runs on stores for toilet paper, which now seem amusing in light of everything else that has happened. The forced slowing down and staying home that has been so painful for some and a desperately needed respite for others.

I am reflecting on the inches my children have grown that almost no one has seen. I am remembering my oldest daughter reading from the Creation story and delivering God’s words in a British accent. (I didn’t know He was British! ;))

And today I am reflecting on all of the words I have offered up this year. Sometimes the words feel heavy with meaning and sometimes they feel like chicken scratch. I’m sure I have erred this year despite my attempts to render truth and encouragement. And to some degree, all words are only as useful as we allow them to be— we either allow them to deliver a glancing blow or we absorb them and let them transform us.

I am reminded in this Christmas season that I want to do everything in service to the King. That is the surest path to the kind of success that matters. And I hope this year that you have felt you were being led closer to Him through this space.

When I think back on the bigger themes of this year — peace, faith over our fears, purpose, gratitude — it humbles me to recognize that I can pretty easily sum up all of the words with just a few. Most of the things I struggle with, that all of humanity struggles with, can be traced back to the un-redeemed parts of my self that keep getting in the way.

So I realize there may be no more effective means or quicker route to getting all of my self out of the way than to say this one phrase.

“It’s not about me. It’s about You.”

When I feel relational conflict brewing. “It’s not about me. It’s about You, God.”
When I am tempted to self-pity. “It’s not about me. It’s about You.”
When I am impatient and unloving. “It’s not about me. It’s about You.”
When I am lonely or grief-stricken. “It’s not about me. It’s about You.”

In this phrase I am brought low and I am also relieved of all of the pressure to perform and to save myself. Getting my self out of the way — my needs and desires and sins and weaknesses — enables the Savior to come, in his fullness, and make all things right.

If I truly believe He is the antidote to every ill in society, then I must let Him constantly surprise me with his sufficiency and surrender more fully to Him than I did the day before. That is the way He works in the world, through me.

As you go into this holiday season, as you look ahead to the year to come, as you reckon with the chaos of this year and the unknown future, I encourage you to make this refrain part of your daily communication with God.
“It’s not about me. It’s about You, God.”

It’s humbling but it is oh so freeing.


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