The Center of the Universe

The Center of the Universe February 16, 2024

image jelly/pixabay



1 Corinthians 13:5b: “Love is not self-seeking.” I’m so sorry, but you are not the center of the universe.

These days, it is so easy to get caught up in me, me, me.  Second Timothy 3:1-5 (AMP) reminds us that  “in the last days, dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.”

The Apostle Paul wrote the book of Timothy to give final instructions and encouragement. When speaking about what will happen in the last days, the first sign is that people will be “lovers of self.” Tanicia Prioleau addresses Christian self-centeredness in her article “The Christian Narcissist.” So how does one, especially a Christian, arrive at that point? Maybe the seeds are planted early in life.

Training the New-Born Babe

Consider a new-born baby. To Mama and Daddy, that child is often the metaphorical “center of the universe,” as he should be. But have you ever stopped to imagine how life looks to that baby? On his back in the crib or playpen, faces move in and out of his developing line of vision. They are the faces that arrive to fill all needs, to offer love, to cooooo and ahhhhh. When his needs are met and/or attention time over, the faces ease out of view. It must seem to the child that he is literally the center of the universe, because everything else he perceives rotates around his physical presence.

Even as a toddler, the child falls, and someone runs to help; she cries, and someone comes to attend; he smiles and others smile back..

A little older and the child begins to realize that she can manipulate her environment and the people in it. “I want, I do something to get”–either cry, ask, whine, try to grab–and this gets the attention of someone, for good or ill.

This is all the business of being a small child. Is it any wonder that children believe themselves to be the “center of the universe”? They are literally taught to think that … and that’s normal for a small child. There is a problem if a fourteen-year-old is still acting that way; or a twenty-year-old. You understand.

Growing Up

There is a point when a person must grow up. Even most individuals with extreme physical or mental challenges come to the realization that not everything is about them.

I Corinthians 13:10-12 reminds us that “when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Certainly, parents need to encourage responsibility and accountability in their children. Hopefully teachers, pastors, coaches, family members, and friends also support a movement toward maturity. It goes without saying that this doesn’t mean the individual is less loved. It’s just that God does not create us to stay babies.

There are times in life when we all face calamity, discouragement, depression, or feelings of impotence, fear, and failure. It is so easy in those moments to yearn to revert to those days when we were “the center of the universe” and become self-seeking and demanding, and to become bitter when we are not served. Our needs may not be met immediately, and there is a difference between a need and a want.  However, we aren’t left to remain 100% dependent. We are not forced to face our trials alone. A network of family and friends is important, but even when we feel we can’t turn to anyone else, we have Christ who does understand. He won’t take you back to the crib, but He will take your hand and  lead you forward.

Faith, Hope, and Love

1 Corinthians 13 ends with the declaration that “now these three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love. Why love?

Faith focuses on the unseen provider to meet my need: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1)

Hope focuses on What God has promised meHis strength; His faithfulness.

Love, however, does not seek a result for me. Love focuses outward on another, not inward on self.

You Are Not the Center of the Universe

(but You are Loved by the One Who Is)

Not a reprimand, but the truth to combat deceptive feelings: I can say it no better than scripture:

“For everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14)..

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10).

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

God bless you, and may you continue to grow in His grace and truth.


Browse Our Archives