Thursday, March 3, 2011

40 Day Challenge, Day 4 "Put off" selfishness, "Put on" self denial....

Wow!  I started dreading this challenge the minute I layed eyes on it!  This has been a real struggle for me over the years, not in a monetary sense but when it comes to my time.  Anyone that constantly addresses "me", "my" and "I" in their conversation is usually caught up in self.  We exist in a very selfish society.  It's all about my desires, my happiness, my rights, my feelings....the list is endless!  There are numerous self help books (both Christian and secular) that tell us that we need to love ourselves more.  I beg to differ....we already love ourselves too much!  Just look at the checkout lines in the grocery store and you will see numerous magazines that cater to me, me, me....there is even one called "Self".   Phil 2:21 makes it clear that when we seek our own interest we are not seeking what interest Christ.  I can think of numerous self seeking motives that wouldn't be centered on Christ.  On the extreme side:
  • my rights - abortion, gay marriage, 
  • my desires - adultery, pornography
On the less extreme side:
  • my rights - to be right, cheat on taxes
  • my desires - success, popularity, idols (this includes a whole gamut of things that we cling to.
Whether we are bent towards the extreme or less extreme, they are equal when it comes to a self focus.
John 12:24 gives us the remedy for this in the form of an analogy....before we can produce fruit, we must die to self.  We must put off our desires and think about what Christ desires in and of us.  Personally speaking, I know that God would rather I spend time with my spouse then time worrying over mundane items on my "to do" list.  He would rather I spend time with someone in need of a listener then to spend time on the computer or watching TV.  He would rather I spend time in His Word and prayer then time worrying about whether every hair is in place (this is really not an issue for's my husband that obsesses over his hair but don't tell him I said so.)
    Okay, so you get the point so far....So?  In what ways can you (and me, me, me) die to self today?
You know what I'm going to say next:  Go forth and flesh it out!

No comments: