Beyond Me: Living You-First in a Me-First World
By: Kathi Macias
Published by: New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, Al 2008

Ever had mornings you don’t want to get out of bed, days you don’t feel like going to work? What do you do when the issue is obeying God? You love him; you are his child. Yet you still don’t want to obey, to allow yourself to transformed into his image through your obedience.

The heart of Kathi Macias’ new book Beyond Me – Living a You-First Life in a Me-First World balances tenuously on this question. When the honeymoon is over – What Then? Inspired by a cosmetic line marketed as “It Is All About Me,” Kathi digs deeply into her 30 year personal Christian history to grapple with the issue of discipleship.

“Jesus didn’t call us to make converts,” Kathi said during our interview. “We aren’t called to sit and listen to teaching, or (passively) expect to be blessed. He called us to make disciples. . . When you are all wrapped up in yourself, you make a pretty small package.” According to Kathi, making disciples is about modeling a changed life. When we become a Christian, we learn how to live for Christ. The next step is modeling a changed life, living you-first in a me-first world.

As Kathi and I talked for nearly 30 minutes, she returned to a number of themes which are woven throughout the text. As people, we often have layers of emotional issues, learned habits which run counter to a discipled, disciplined Christian lifestyle. Living ‘you-first’ means allowing Christ to remove the layers in order to reveal the person he has called and equipped you to become.

As Americans, we often hold onto an “I can do it, and have to do it myself” kind of attitude. Yet Jesus calls us to participate with him. WE have the choice to allow Him to participate in our lives. When we do, we build his kingdom, not our own.

A third theme is that Christians expect that they are now members of God’s “Bless Me Club.” Too often Kathi has seen that Christians’ thoughts and prayers revolve in a fixed orbit around our own desires. Kathi’s book is an encouragement, and a challenge to take the message of the gospel and make it personal. It’s not about being served, but serving others.

Toward the end of our interview, I asked Kathi what she believed opened the door to this kind of lifestyle. I have often heard these words from a church podium, yet not taken up the charge to change? She responded, “The bottom line to every sin, everything that takes us away from God’s call on our life is a broken relationship with Him.” The external sermon becomes an internal motivation when we understand God’s heart toward us. He takes upon himself the shame of sin, he doesn’t give it. He reaches and forgives rather than standing aloof and demanding of us. For Kathi, as she writes in this book, God so loved that he gave. He calls us to do the same.

I want to thank Kathi for writing this book, and highly recommend it for anyone tired of living an average Christian life. We aren’t called to be average. we are called to be disciples, to live you-first in a me-first world. You can find more about Kathi, and her writing and speaking ministry at http://www.kathimacias.com/

Posted by:

Timothy Burns, Associate Editor Ministry in Motion Blog
Author, Forged in the Fire – Shaped by the Master
http://www.timothyburns.com

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3 Responses

  1. I’m reading your book, Kathi, and I’m captured by your message: Somebody has to set up chairs. After all the degrees, all the training, all the years experience in ministry; leadership still requires a lot of setting up tables and chairs. But you are right. It is all about a servant’s heart. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Interesting.

  3. Thanks, Teena! Knowing your heart, I’m not surprised you relate to the message.

    Blessings!

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