Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This Woman Is Selfish

I am so selfish. 
I think I may even have everybody fooled. 
I have pulled the wool over their eyes with my "happy face", and generous behaviors. 

This past week has been straight up awful challenging. Things on the news have hit me really hard, things like violence, sudden death, and greed. Personal family issues, and even issues with friends have thrown me for a loop.

I have been "blue" as a friend put it. I have been moping, and pouting, and dwelling on the hardships this world hands out so generously. I have taken things personally that have nothing to do with me. Why do I let things always become about me. About how I feel, or how I'm responding, or my opinion about it.

Today at church two of the wisest, godly women I have ever had the joy of meeting met my husband for the first time. They told him that I was a sweet and wonderful woman of God. They even went so far as to tell James how blessed he was to have me. Excuse me, but, they are out of their minds. They must not know who I truly am. I have them fooled. I am nothing. I am unworthy of James and I am even more undeserving of Christ's grace. I am a self gratifying woman who seeks to please my flesh. 

I am sick of me

God did not give air to my lungs for me to waste it on me. 
He gave me this life, this body, and this mind to serve HIM. 

James 3:16-17 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
Does that verse hit you in the teeth like it hits me? 
I hear the world telling me that it's ok to make it all about me. I hear the world shouting out that it's ok to make yourself  happy. Love yourself first, then you can love others. 


The world is wrong. It is not ok to make life about me. I cannot put myself first and be happy. While I may experience fleeting joy when putting myself first I end up feeling miserable. 
But wait, there is hope for me! I know that God's desire for my life is to be filled with joy, and to experience the wisdom that only he can provide "peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" wisdom. There is fullness that can only be found in Christ, and I'm ready to experience what only he can give. 

Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Ah hah! 
That's what I love. I need to look towards the interests of others…not my own!
Instead of moping and sulking, I need to take action and practice my compassion. Put Jesus first, and then I can let his love pour out through me and into others. Have you ever seen that demonstration about the water pitchers? (I would vlog it but I hate my voice…so that will never happen). You have one pitcher that represents you (it's empty) and another (it's full) that represents Christ. Once you begin to pour this HUGE pitcher of Christ into your tiny little pitcher it can't help but overflow. 
I cannot let my selfish ambition and my flesh get in the way of who Christ has called me to be. 

I want to look less like this

 And more like this.

She looks a heck of a lot more like Christ's love than I do, that's for sure. 

So, here is my prayer. Straight out of the Bible (it has some good stuff in it!).
Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.


Brittany GraceAnn said...

beautifully said, Bethany! totally understand where you are coming from. i struggle with "having mercy" on myself when it comes to stuff like this... and accepting God's mercy too! we are on a JOURNEY to sainthood. we're not there YET! right?! Mother Teresa is beautiful - but even she struggled. She wrote that for most of her life she felt in the dark... far from God... but she kept plugging away towards HEAVEN!!! LOVE that.

Emily Kazmierski said...

Great Post. On a side note, Mother Teresa is truly inspiring. If you're interested, I recommend her biography by Kathryn Spink. :)

Rachel said...

Just what I needed to hear today. I love you sis!