If you have children, grandchildren—or even if you were once a child yourself! —the odds are you’ve heard of Dr. Seuss. He wrote over 60 children’s books that included very colorful and outrageously weird characters. Some of the most famous books are The Cat and the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I loved reading these books to my kids and grandkids using a variety of voices, some squeaky and high-pitched and others deep and thunderous as I’d read the twisted goofy dialogue between the wild and wacky creatures.
On Halloween this year I went to a local coffee shop with my wife Lori for a short break in my work day. While there, I couldn’t help but notice the two baristas wearing wacky costumes with a big red circle in the middle of their chests that said “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”. These were two mischievous characters in The Cat in the Hat book who fly a kite in the house and end up knocking over virtually everything of value.
[Now stay with me here for a second as I show you just how bizarrely my mind can work at times…]
Why all this talk about a children’s book? Well, while reflecting on what Jesus has actually done for me, it struck me that he has freed me from “ME.” Like Thing 1 and Thing 2, there are two of me; there is ME 1 and me 2, and both are alive in me.
ME 1 is spelled with all capital letters and is Number One because that is what he’s like. ME 1 is all about MEEEEEE! He is self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-serving. I don’t think I am a narcissist, but if I were, ME 1 would never know it and certainly could never acknowledge it. ME 1 loves to be in charge and he even has a few closely related relatives such as MYSELF and MINE!
Thank goodness though, Jesus has freed me from ME 1 and his insatiable desire for adoration and praise. Now I am truly free to be “me 2,” the version of me that desires to be humble, to put others first, and to love others by always seeking to serve them. Me 2 also has cousins named “they” and “them.”
Being free from “ME 1” means that I no longer need to worry about protecting “MYSELF.” I have been liberated from his oppressive rule so that I can serve others by always seeking what is best for “they” and “them.” “ME 1” was crucified with Jesus. HE is dead and that means I am now free from ME…so I can be me!
Romans 6:6-7 (NIV)
For we know that our old self [ME 1]was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we [me 2] should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.