#118of365 #FaithBites #FaithJourney
Today’s lesson is part one of two focusing on the self. This one is about the world revolving around me or you or a specific person. (Part two will be about the joy of self-time). The world is filled with people who think they are God’s gift to the world and everything should revolve around them. The first part of course is true, we are all God’s gifts, the second part, not so much.
As any parent or anyone who’s been around children, understand that the world revolves around them. Everything is when they want it (NOW), how they want it (NOW), and what they want (Everything). You could be cooking fried chicken, hands covered in batter over a boiling cast iron frying pan, and your daughter wants you to wash her hands. When you tell her to wait a minute, the world falls apart. You could be going to the bathroom, and your daughter wants you to make her something to eat. Not when you are done, mind you, but (as my sister used to say) RIGHT THIS INSTANT MINUTE.
While these are examples of kids, well, being kids, we see this all the time. My way or the highway. This can be in politics, work, religion, anything. This self-centeredness. It makes discussions and compromises next to impossible. When you give in, it only gets worse. And you can never give enough. You may be able to keep it up for a long time, but at what cost? How should we react to this self-centered behavior?
“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” – James 3:14-16
“An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.” – Proverbs 18:1
“But she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives” – 1 Timothy 5:6 (ESV)
Now, I’m not saying my children are demons, but well, if the shoe fits. Just kidding. They are being kids and I think part of being a parent is how to deal with it and teach them better. Adults who display these behaviors, and I’m guilty of being self-indulgent on occasion, that’s another story. As with all things, we can seek forgiveness. The Timothy passage, really struck home, being self-indulgent is equivalent to being spiritually dead even while you are alive. That really makes me think. If you are selfish, you can’t be selfless as Jesus commands us to be. I do not want to find disorder and evil practice. I see it every day at work, at home, on the news, everywhere. I also see good people who are selfless.
We should look past the selfishness and see if we can find a root cause. Is there a need not being met? Is basic human connection and support what they need? We should be open to that. And yes, it’s frustrating. I even needed a little me time to help regenerate and be a great parent. More on that in part two.
Are you willing to turn your own selfishness into selflessness? Are you willing to look at someone’s behavior to see what lies beneath and offer help?
I am willing (with the help of God)