#4 Selfishness. Now these three remain, faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. [1st Corinthians 13:13]
This is my fourth installment of my forty day Lenten devotionals.
[Yes...again I know it is not Lent yet - but I know that in order to get
to forty I am going to have to get a jumpstart!] What I wanted to talk
about is selfishness.
Being selfish is something I am apt to be.
I think that if we all took one day, and honestly thought about how
much we think about ourselves, we would be shocked. How does the
behavior of my wife [or husband], my children, my neighbor, my
government, my church, my job, etc...affect me? We often vote on the
basis of our pocketbook. We often pick churches on the basis of what
they, "offer" for me. We even pick out spouses on the basis of, "how
they make me feel."
I will often ask in pre-marital
counseling a simple question, "why do you love this other person?" And
their response will often vary but typical answers are something along
the lines of, "because they make me feel good...because he makes me
laugh...because she makes me feel important, etc...." I then ask the
question, "well, if he stops being funny and you feel less important
does that then give you an excuse to no longer love them?" Do you see
my point? We often interpret this world in which we live through the
lens of how it affects me. Too often our attention is on ourselves -
instead of on God and others.
Which leads me to my latest
bout of selfishness. The stomach flu has run rampant through my house.
1st it was Hope. Then it was Faith. Then it was Beth. Then it was my
cousin Monica. So far me and Olivia have remained unscathed....but the
The problem is....though many in my family
are sick I have not spent a lot of time thinking about them...I have
spent too much time thinking about me. Something along the lines of,
"ugh...another one down...now I will have to do this, that, or the other
thing..." I was looking at my family's illness through the lens of
added work to myself. [Lysol is now my best friend] My selfishness was
making me miserable.
However, the Lord showed me this level
of selfishness in my life. I asked for forgiveness. The focus should
not be on how their illness affects me - but instead how my wellness can
affect them. I should focus on caregiving. I should actively love my
family. Care for them. Thank God for them. Be with them. As soon as
this attitude shifted in my spirit [by the power of God's Spirit] my
attitude changed. It was no longer taxing to serve, but a joy.
Jesus came to this earth to serve, not to be served. He healed the
sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, died, and rose again for us. We
were sick - and His joy was bringing us back to Him through faith.
Oh how I pray that I can further allow the Spirit of Christ to work through my attitude whereby I truly focus on love.