Me, Myself, and I.

"Shine the light on every corner of your life until the pride and lust and lies are in the open.  Then read the Word and put to test the things you've heard until your heart and soul are stirred and rocked and broken." - Clear The Stage, Jimmy Needham.

I've noticed that I have a horrible habit of talking and thinking about me.  Just in that last statement alone, I mentioned myself three times.  It's a real problem.  It's something I notice when I'm talking to others, when I'm writing blogs, when I'm whining to God...you name it and I can make it about me somehow.  It's a disgusting trait that I don't like or understand.  What is this selfish nature within me?  Why does it fight so hard against the spirit, thrashing and flailing about like a kid in Wally World who isn't getting the toy he or she wants?  

Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "Well, honey.  It's just human nature.  We are all selfish."  And that's true to an extent.  It's part of being human.  In our flesh, we are such selfish beings.  We listen to the heartaches of our friends, then compare them to our own.  We give prayer requests in church, then often go home and forget many of the prayer requests given by others.  We give advice as if the way that we would do things is superior to all other options.  We're caught up in bills that need to be paid, coworkers that annoy us, friends that have lost their minds, family members that owe us money, television shows that need to be recorded so they're not missed...the list goes on and on for miles.  And why are these things so important to us?  Because they directly touch our lives.  

It's all about us.  Or, personally, it's all about me.  I think at least a thousand selfish thoughts a day.  I'm not saying that thinking of others always and never regarding yourself is healthy.  I'm saying that always thinking of ourselves first is not only faulty thinking; it's a sin. 

Let me explain.  Love and selfishness are complete opposites.  The Bible states this in 1 Corinthians 13:4.  Love is not selfish, and therefore, if we are thinking with selfish minds, it is only a matter of time before our love for ourselves corrupts our hearts.  And because selfishness is the opposite of love, they can't reside in the same place.  We are called to have hearts filled to the brim and overflowing with love.  Love for our brothers and sisters, and love for our God.  Aren't those commandments?  

Duh.  Yeah, they is.  Matthew 22:36-40 determines this.   Notice that the love-thy-neighbor commandment instructs us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, which only reiterates my point.  Loving ourselves isn't wrong.  Holding value for your life is a great thing.  But when we love ourselves more than anyone else, when we hold ourselves above all others, that's when we are selfish.  

This is a huge aspect of my life that I am currently trying to deal with by the grace of God.  Although I don't see myself as anything special, I am even self-centered in my constant lack of confidence.  Compelled by the anointed lyrics above, as well as the rest of the song, I've been trying to take inventory of my heart in order to "clear the stage" and remove any potential idols.  Realizing that I'm placing my wants, needs, desires, and feelings on a pedestal, demanding that they receive attention first, is not a particularly pleasant thing to discover.  However, it is only in this step of honesty with myself and with my Father that I can draw closer to His heart.  

And I hope by taking this step of honesty with you, I can encourage you to take inventory of your heart as well.  It might get messy and you probably will not be fond of what you find, but I promise it will be rewarding.  Remember that anything you love above God, anything you think of before God, anything you reach out to before God is something that hinders you from being closer to God.  If you're like me, you're simply standing in your own way.  God bless.  

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