Humans are narcissistic by nature. We are. If we can’t admit that, then we’re deluding ourselves. Our very nature (which is rebellious from birth) screams “I can decide for myself what is good and what is not.” And what do we do with this nature? Just like Cain did with Abel, we use that “goodness” to murder our brethren. Maybe not physically, but we sure use our tongues (and in the case of the internet) our fingers to destroy one another, often. We destroy lives and reputations, all in the name of “getting what we want to make us happy.” It’s why so many people don’t care about who they hurt so long as they get what they want, and it is exactly the tactic used by the world to entice so many people in to following their desires as opposed to following Jesus. Following Jesus is not about living your best life now, it’s about living for Christ and giving Him glory and honor. Every aspect of our lives must be brought in to giving God all glory. Consider, for a minute, the prophets, apostles, and even the life of Jesus Himself. Every one of them suffered for the sake of the Father. Every single one of them had to speak the truth, even when unpopular, and many of them, Jesus included, were killed for that truth. Many, including Jesus, were imprisoned and tortured for their faith. Many, including Jesus, had to live humble lives without monetary means, and yet used their life to glorify God. This is what life is about: knowing Christ and making Him known and bringing glory to the Father. This is why we’re here. No part of life is about you, and it’s not about me either. I take great comfort in that.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.