Recently, I had the opportunity to disconnect from the world and center myself in a place that welcomed deepening my walk with Christ. No cell phone, no watch, no television…but coffee, there was lots of coffee! Jesus laid something on my heart that I actually have heard before but refused to believe it.
I am selfish.
Gut punch, right to the core. Jesus’ words pack a hard punch, especially when you were sure it was the opposite all those years. How can you deny words from the Father? When my husband kindly let me know I shrugged it off with a “pshhhh, selfish…” Well, like I said how do you deny it if God shows you? It was one of the most clear messages I’ve ever received from Him. At which point during reflection time I went back in my mind to all of the times I in fact was, selfish.
Here are a few things that flashed across my mind.
*Selfish with time- mindlessly scrolling up and down feeds full of social media information while dismissing my precious children who want to play, read a book, color, or swing with.
*Selfish with being first- this could mean anything, it could be a positive or a negative, sometimes being last is a wonderful thing, I later learned this.
*Selfish with thinking I was faultless- in a marriage you have to recognize your own downfalls, I was so busy being “right” that I didn’t realize I was ruining my marriage by overseeing where he needed me or who he may have needed me to be.
*Selfish in my church- when I thought it should be a certain way but in reality my way wasn’t always best.
*Selfish in relationships- my thoughts, my actions, my beliefs aren’t always in line with the people I love, in the past I might not have seen their side because I was to busy preaching mine.
*Selfish with money- holding on to money because I was afraid to be without. Instead of giving it to God for his kingdom and letting him bless it, the way he always does.
The reality is that being selfish can be a negative but like most things in life I try to find the best in everything. Over the span of the weekend I stepped aside and let God reveal to me how important it was in everything I do that I keep my selfishness at the front of my mind. This may sound silly but when it come time to line up, I went to the back, when the salad came instead of grabbing a ranch, I waited until everyone chose their dressing, I was willing to take thousand island instead of my beloved ranch, when it was time to shower, I went last, chancing only cold water. I went last at everything I could make myself last at without looking crazy.
God did a total 360 on my heart that weekend. My selfish ways have probably caused me more hurt than I’m willing to admit now that I can look back and be honest with myself.
I was very selfish.
I’ve given up a lot of “things” to follow Jesus, you can’t say yes to the world and Jesus. Giving up things of the world meant letting them go even if I wasn’t ready.
I gave so much, but not selfishness. I held on to that.
God could not use me the way he needed to until I got out-of-the-way. I can’t be the Christian, wife, mother, friend, family member, or church member I need to be until I stop micro-managing it all or putting myself ahead.
1 Timothy 5:6 tells us that “But she who is self-indulgent is dead even when she lives.”
That’s harsh but it’s true. I have never felt more alive than I do now that I have admitted this and I am able to recognize it and turn it into Gods favor and not my own.
It’s easy for us to spot it when someone else is selfish but rarely to we see it in ourselves. I never once thought of myself that way, it was negative and I wanted no part of that. The root of the issues in our lives can revolve around something we create and don’t even realize it until we get still and hear from God. I kept so busy by pushing that to the bottom that I never heard God or saw when he showed me in the past.
“At 34, I admitted to being selfish but I committed to work very hard to be selfless.”
What would God tell you if you sat down, quieted the noises, shut off the phone, and asked him to reveal yourself to you. It could be something that changes your life, something you haven’t admitted to, or something you didn’t realize.
Life is hard. We have a to-do list and a lot to keep up with but when simmer enough to let the Lord speak directly to our hearts he gives us all we need. It has changed me, forever. Being more empathetic, thinking of others feelings or emotions instead of reacting on “my” terms has given me a chance to take a look at them the way Jesus would, then I can offer grace.
By focusing on the big picture, I am able to take myself out of the scenario and not get bogged down by the little stuff that can fester and manifest into a disaster.
Let it go.
John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decease.”
I’ve found the truest meaning of joy over the last month. I’m no longer imprisoned by the demands I ultimately placed on myself, others are no longer imprisoned by the demands I put on them, instead God put my focus on what he wants me to see and turned my ears to what he wants me to hear. I lost myself in myself but was found when I totally let go.
My prayer for you today is for you to get still, hear from God, let go of the restrictions you bound yourself to and live with a joy that no one can steal.
Have Zest and Be Selfless!!!
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