Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#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 clock ticks.....

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 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.

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