Wow… I want to say a few words about selfishness.
I am soooo a North-American girl. The culture around me preaches “me-first” “I am my own first priority” and other self-serving messages daily. I’ve heard them since I was little. I try to be aware of it, and fight selfishness when it appears in myself, but sometimes it shows in funny ways that are hard to recognize.
This week was awful. It felt like my life was falling apart piece by piece. I was miserable, beaten down and exhausted. Friday seemed like an eternity away. Every day something else added itself to my pile of awfulness. I did everything from embarrassing myself in front of crowds, to hurting myself, to earning myself a lovely speeding ticket.
I’m so blessed by the support system God has given me, but I was missing it badly this week. I’m not currently living with my parents, and so only got to talk to my mom for an hour or two every few days when I went home for the printer or food. My boyfriend is adventuring on the other side of the world. One best friend is in heavy classes at a different institution, and the other works. I felt very alone, making me even more miserable.
There were a few times I went to post a Facebook status, but I stopped myself each time because it sounded incredibly whiny and childish, and I knew most of my Facebook “friends” wouldn’t be interested.. Then I realized, those whiny words are ones I express to those closest to me, when I’m looking subconsciously for sympathy and an ego boost. Those words express the selfishness that lurks in my heart. I feel the need to be built up and have my emotions and reactions justified, and I look to those in my support system for that.
Do you know why the people in my support system is such a blessing? Because they love me even when I am miserable and whiny, and they don’t let me settle for acting that way. They give me hugs, and words of encouragement, but call me out on my behaviour. They do it because they love God and know His word, and know that settling for the World’s pattern of behaviour is not what I really want to do.
God is in everything, and for most of this week, He was all I had. It’s easy to wallow in selfish misery and push Him aside, but He never leaves. He hears every complaint, sits with me through every meltdown, and He even knows the thoughts going on inside my head that I filter from what I say to friends. AND HE LOVES ME ANYWAYS!
Stephen and I are working through a devotional book called “Just Like Jesus,” by Max Lucado. One thing that struck me last week, is that Jesus loves me, even though He knows everything I’ve ever done, thought, or said. AND He knows everything I will do, say or think. He loved His disciples, humbling Himself to wash their feet, even knowing that in a few hours they would betray Him, deny Him, and desert Him. When He died, He forgave me, even knowing that it would be a continuous cycle of me messing up and Him forgiving me over and over and over.
So, I’m sorry to everyone I complain to on a regular basis. I’m sorry when I make myself the focus of conversations, and I’m sorry when I use you to build myself up.
Someday I want to be able to love like Jesus, not putting myself first, but forgetting everything to love those I cross paths with.