I’ve been struggling with feeling selfish lately. We all have the desire to be included, invited, heard, thought of & accepted. That is normal, but when it becomes more about “me” than “He”, that’s when selfishness creeps in. It’s hard to recognize sometimes, too, because we know we are not supposed to be selfish, right? We know that, so we choose to label it something else in order to justify.
I’ve asked the lord to shift my mindset from me, to He.. to help me truly grasp that it’s not about me. It quickly came to mind that those that are walking with the Lord are commanded in numerous scriptures to “die to self” (see references below).
If we truly die to self, we cannot be offended, we cannot take things personally, we cannot hold onto anger or unforgiveness, we cannot harbor bitterness, we cannot gossip or slander. After all, dead people cannot feel, nor act.
In this part of the country, & the world, majority of us would say we are Believers. That when it comes down to it, we do believe in God. So why do we not behave like it?
We tend to worry so much about how we look. If we whole heartedly think about it, who are we trying to look good for? I used to answer this question with, “Other people”, but not anymore. We are trying so very hard to look good for ourselves. It is a standard we have set internally without thinking about who is watching us and what we are telling the world, specifically children and youth.
Does it ever occur to us that “not fighting the battle” only fuels the flame?
This is my tenth year teaching high school students. These are good students and I truly love my job, but they are still kids. They often play the, “Well, he/she wore/did/did not _________ so, I can too” game. Again, they are kids, they push and fight because they are kids. It is our job as adults, not just teachers, to guide and direct our children and youth as they mature and grow up.
However, we are seeing that these kids do not grow up. They do not have to. So we are living in a world of “big kids” where there are virtually no consequences for anything. We have made it acceptable to justify any behavior, no matter if it is breaking a law or not, moreover, if it is actually “hurting” anything or not. We don’t know our limits because we don’t have to. Everything is abused and taken advantage of; even good things. We are in a place where there seems to be no solution because what we have in place to enforce is not enforced; it is not permitted to be.
There are no “lines” anymore. They have all been crossed and/or misused. There is only one standard we are called to live by.
We cannot be surprised when lost people act lost, especially when Found people do not act Found.
There comes a time when being silent is the absolute worst thing we can do. It seems we are there.
So, how do we respond?
[...“to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life & is corrupt through deceitful desires, & to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness & holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry & do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Eph. 4:22
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“Am I now trying to win the favor & approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” Gal. 1:10]