Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It Is All About Me Anyway

                It’s all about me. That seems like the most un-Christian thing to say, but there it is. It is all about me. These past few months the Lord has been talking to me about my choices. The choices that I make each and every day affect every area of my life and He has been showing me how these
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choices impact those around me. Today He is showing me that when I choose anger, what I am really choosing is self. I realized that when I get angry, and I choose to be angry it is because I want my own way. I am one of those people that get stuck in their own heads. I start to think about something some says or something someone has done and the next thing you know I have dreamed up scenario’s that never happened. This usually leads me to get angry and frustrated at that person. I start playing out in my head what I am going to say to that person when I see them, and how I am going to make them see the wrong they did to me. In my head, it all makes perfect sense, and I justify every thought because of it.  Because, let’s be honest- it’s all about me.
                “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3
                Paul writes to us and tells us that nothing we do should be done through selfish ambition. The original word used in this passage of scripture is the one that refers to strife. Selfish ambition is strife, and strife results in anger. Arguments happen because someone got angry, and because someone wants their way. Selfish ambition is what comes out of our desire to be right all the time. Its roots are found in the sin of pride. Whenever my husband says something to me and I know (in my head) that I am right, off goes my mind, thinking of all the times that I have been right and he has never acknowledged them. In my head I start playing all the scenarios and scenes of all the things that he has ever said or done to me, and I was right all along. This is my selfish ambition coming out to play. When I choose this mindset, I end up getting angry and we end up in a fight.  
                Selfishness is found in each and every one of us. I have never met a completely unselfish person. I have met some people who have an attitude of selfishness, and who do selfless things, but in the end we are all selfish people. The choices I make in my everyday life are derived from two mindsets- a selfish one or a lowly one. But in the end, I choose which mindset to have. I can try and blame my selfishness on my husband, or my friends, or my family, but in the end, I alone am held accountable for the choices I make. When I stand before God He is not going to excuse my choices just because I was right and they were wrong. He will and does hold me accountable for every choice I make.
                When I get angry at someone or something it is because I am upset that I did not get my way. I know that sounds harsh, and hard to swallow, but let’s be real. Our anger is a direct result of the selfishness that is in our hearts. I get angry at my husband because he doesn’t do what I thought he needed to do. I must be honest before God, and before you, the family of God- it is all about me. I am a selfish woman. I admit it, I do. There is no trying to get around it or trying to make excuses for it. I am selfish. It is all about me.
  So what then is the cure for this selfishness that is in me? Paul tells us that it is a lowliness of mind. The cure to my selfishness is a right view of me. Let’s face it- I suck. I am a sinner, full of pride and rebellion. I choose myself over God daily. I choose to go my own way when God has clearly shown me the right way to go. I choose to compromise in areas of my life that God has told me not to. I have chosen to be right and chosen to justify my righteousness instead of being humble and just choosing Him. It is my choice to be about me, or it is my choice to lay it all down and let it be about Him and Him alone.
                My choices are a direct result of what is in my heart. The more the Lord shows me myself, the more I see my need for Him. But isn’t that the point of this life? To show us how desperately we need Him. Let’s face it, we are unholy, sinful men and women who are in need of a holy and righteous God. I am selfish, I know that I am. It is in me to be selfish; it is in me to choose me over God every time. But I thank God that He sees all this in me and still chooses to call me His own. I thank God that even though I choose to go my own way, He has already worked it all out for His glory and my benefit. (Romans 8:28) I thank God that even though I am a worthless excuse for a Christian, He is a worthy God and worthy Lord over all.
                In the end, I think we must come to realize that we are selfish beings and as long as we are in this body of sin and death we will always want to choose self over God. In the end, all that we can do is accept that we are sinners, acknowledge that it is not all about us, and pray to the Lord to give us the right mind to walk out what it is He desires from us. The cure for my selfishness is Jesus Christ. The cure for my wandering ways of self is to know that without Him I am nothing. The cure for my hopeless self is to abide in Him and to follow Him all the days of my life. When I make this choice, when I choose Him then there will be those moments of selflessness, and there will be those moments when I choose to put others before me. There will be those moments when I walk in lowliness of mind. But there will also be those moments of self, and in those moments I can praise God for loving me in spite of me. In the end, it is all about who I choose- me or Him.

                May the Lord grant us wisdom to walk in lowliness of mind, knowing that we are selfish beings who are in need of a selfless God. To Him alone be all the glory, honor and praise forever and ever amen and amen.