Why did you want to write this book? What inspired you to write it?
KM: I’ve authored a lot of books over the last couple of decades, but this book is my “book of my heart,” the one I’ve worked on for many years. It has been a real labor of love because it is what God has been teaching me for the thirty-plus years I’ve known Him. And because I tend to learn things the hard way, God had to walk me through the message of this book many times before I finally “got it.” (And, of course, now that I’ve said that, I’ll probably find myself walking through it yet again!)
Of course, the message was hammered home to me many times as I wrote, including the time when I took my then pre-teen granddaughter shopping and the first thing she spotted was a line of cosmetics called “It’s About Me.” I remember thinking, “Wow, we really have our work cut out for us as Christians to counter that prevailing lie in our culture!”
What does it mean to live a you-first life in a me-first world?
KM: It means a lot of things, depending on our circumstances. Primarily it means putting God and others ahead of ourselves—and that’s not something we do naturally or easily. In fact, without God’s Spirit inside us to help and guide and strengthen us, we really can’t live a you-first lifestyle, even though that’s what God requires of us.
For me, coming to grips with a you-first lifestyle happened when, as a writer and speaker accustomed to public ministry, God spoke to my heart and told me, “Somebody has to set up the chairs.” I didn’t want to hear that because I knew it meant I had to spend my time serving others in public ministry, rather than being the one being served as I ministered. However, it was a powerful learning time when I began to walk in obedience to that directive.
Beyond-me living really hit home with me, though, when I was busy “grumbling” about how I wished I could spend my time writing instead of running errands for and caring for my almost 90-year-old mother who lives with us. In the midst of my grumbling, God’s words, “Somebody has to set up the chairs,” came back to me, and I knew God was reminding me that beyond-me living also meant serving people at all levels and circumstances in my life—including and especially those in my own home.
From the book:
“I felt myself relax as I began to understand God’s call to servanthood in my life—my personal call to live a you-first life in a me-first world. It wasn’t just about living selflessly so unbelievers would be drawn to Jesus. It was also about daily laying down my life, giving up the right to plan my days and order my steps, so that I could help others fulfill the needs of their day. It was about choosing to honor the sanctity of life, regardless of the personal costs, rather than selfishly guarding the quality and convenience of my life at the expense of others” (p. 24).