Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Selfish! Who's selfish? Me?

A war has been waged against selfishness in me. I'm selfish. It isn't a characteristic I am proud of, however it is one that I have not held as a secret here either. The battle began last week when I heard just ten minutes of one of Joyce Meyer's messages. I also saw last week an episode of Joyce Meyer's that I had seen before. Only, I didn't realize I had already seen it until at least ten minutes into the broadcast. With that came a revelation that it is not merely enough to just HEAR a message. There are times in our lives that we need to get a lesson so badly that when we find scripture that will help us maintain our battle through to victory we need to study it, meditate on it, read it aloud, memorize it, and put it on sticky notes on every surface of our homes until it's finally permanently written on our hearts. It isn't enough to hear it once. Change never comes in one day or hearing a message one time. You know it takes a person an average of performing an act for forty days before it becomes a habit. You have to spend some time on any given subject to really reap the benefits of change and effectiveness in your life. It comes to no surprise that The Love Dare from the movie Fireproof is forty days in length.

Day 1 - The book explains love as being built on two pillars, patience and kindness. So day 1 begins with patience. Learning to hold your tongue and walk in love and not allowing our anger or frustration to be alleviated through our mouths in the form of harmful words. "Anger almost never makes things better. In fact, it usually generates additional problems. But patience stops problems in their tracks...patience is a deep breath." I love this part: "It stops foolishness from whipping its scorpion tail all over the room."

What causes frustration? Selfishness. What causes anger? Selfishness. What causes the vast majority of any and all arguments? Selfishness. We aren't hearing what we want to hear or the other person isn't doing what we want them to do. We aren't getting what we want. Webster defines selfish as being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. Do you know there is actually no fulfillment found in being selfish? As Joyce Meyer would say, "we get wound up every morning like robots and wander around saying "what about me, what about me, what about me."" But, there is no pleasure in it. We were created to be servants and we find fulfillment in having a servants heart and meeting the needs and doing for those around us. I'm telling ya, I consider myself to have been highly selfish, yet I was miserable!

More on how we did on day 1 and the days following, as we did day 3 this morning, later. In the meantime, the scripture I'll be putting on sticky notes in every room of my home is this. Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.

And, how about a little assignment for you? If you want to spend some time reading and thinking about true selflessness check out the book of Philippians after you look up the above verse. Read maybe just the first chapter. Paul is a man that was filled with the Lord's love from the top of his to the toes of his feet. Wanting to stay alive even in imprisonment for the sake of others. If given the choice between going home to the Lord of remaining alive and imprisoned, he would choose imprisonment so that more lives with be touched by the good news. That is what it looks like to be Christ like to be filled so overflowingly with His love, to be unselfish that a person would praise God in their suffering because they know it is for the benefit of spreading His love, forgiveness, and salvation. WOW!

1 drops of sunshine:

Erica Young said...

Oh, the Love Dare. That helped us extremely in our marriage. That was a great book to follow and we loved it. I pray that it does miraculous things for you guys!