Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Lie of Self

We enter this world entirely self-focused, which is completely normal. Infants are expected to be a bundle of needs and desires. I've been watching our youngest child go through the developmental stages, becoming more aware of others' needs and desires along the way. At six, she has a ways to go yet! That's normal, too. I was seventeen when I  awoke my mother in the middle of the night to tell her I couldn't sleep... I was shocked, and then chagrined (as I realized how selfish I was), when she said, "Why is this MY problem, Robin?"

I must admit, that through much of my life, I struggled to understand why the Bible says that I am wholly unworthy and must "put off my old self...and put on the new self." (Ephesians 4:23-24) I don't mean that I've thought I was perfect; I've always known that I'm not. But I kind of always thought I wasn't "that bad." After all, I tried to do the right thing. I was a pretty good person...Right?

Because I've grown in my trust of God and therefore know He is accurate when He says I am wholly sinful, I've examined those ideas over the past decade. First, I came to realize that because God is perfect and holy, I could never be "good enough" for Him. And perhaps it's aging and gaining perspective, or perhaps it's the developing fruits of the spirit, but I am now able to see that I am so often thinking about myself... even when I'm supposedly doing something "good."

In his book, Follow Me, David Platt says we are functioning within self-saturated Christianity. That really struck a chord with me! How much of time I spend with God is focused on me? How many times do I volunteer thinking about the benefits to me? Or how I want this thing to happen? Or how something makes me look to others?

The answer to these questions for me right now is: Not as much as it used to be. I think that's a good thing. I am working to recognize when my motivation is not Christ, but Robin. I am trying to approach God for His glory, not to meet my need. (I'm not saying we shouldn't approach God to meet our own needs, but that shouldn't be the only time we approach God.) I am trying to allow the Holy Spirit to change me from a selfish infant Christian into a maturing Christian.

I'm praying that God removes my self-focusing blinders and that I can serve Him and do His will, not mine.

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