Posts Tagged ‘self’

As we’ve been exploring what a Christ filled life might look like we’ve asked ourselves some pretty tough questions for the purpose of exposing our selfishness, as this is the biggest hindrance to the life God wants for us. When we are at the center of our world, when everything is about and for us, the result is a life with a lot of worthless filler. If we can recognize this and admit our barrenness we make room for God to fill the spot in us that He intended from the start.

 

How much of our lives have we really turned over to God? Have we compartmentalized our days or weeks into areas that belong to Him and other areas that we handle on our own? Do we really believe that He cares about the little details of our lives or do we think there are areas He doesn’t want to be bothered with? Maybe we suppose we’re better at some things than He is? Or could it be that God’s timing isn’t quick enough for us?

Another area that we have a lot of trouble trusting God with is that He’s at work in those around us too. Why are we so quick to anger over other’s shortcomings? Why are we intolerant of those that are different than we are? Why are other people’s sins so much easier to talk about? Do we think the best of everyone first? Do we try to understand what might be going on in someone’s life before making a judgment based on what we are seeing in a particular moment or even season? Does doing these things make us feel better about ourselves or maybe even deflect attention from what might need to change in us?

The best place to start when seeking less self is trust. A close examination of the things in our life that cause the most difficulty will usually reveal an area that we don’t really trust God in and when we don’t trust Him we feel it necessary to meet that need ourselves. For example, if we don’t trust that God’s love for us is enough we resort to all kinds of ways to either attain love from others, manipulate those around us or convince ourselves and others that we don’t need love.

I think we’ve pretty well established that there is much more God for us to know, love and be loved by. But in order for us to have room for more of Him there needs to be less of us. How much of the frustration, difficulty, dissatisfaction and aggravation we carry around each day is the result of self? How much time, effort and energy is spent trying to satisfy our own perceived needs? How often do our insecurities keep us from what we know God has for us? The answer for me is, most.

As followers of God, sin no longer separates us from Him but clouds us from Him for the moment. We get to choose how long the moment is. We need to turn back to Him immediately not take our punishment into our own hands and prolong the cloudiness. This only causes us to feel more unloved which leads to more clouds.

“For this the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” There is no sin that we have to commit. With Jesus there is always a way out, it’s our choice. Are we going to choose self, what we think we want or need or are we going to choose God? The choice is usually much clearer than we like to believe.

It seems to me that there is only one sin: pride or putting ourselves before God and others. The endless lists of “sins” are all rooted in pride. Our struggle both here and in the spiritual realm is against self. Satan’s sin was the same as ours and he likes nothing better than to encourage us to be like him instead of being like Christ.