Archives For selfishness

Each of our lives is telling a story. There’s the one we think we are telling, and the one actually being told. No matter what story we have led ourselves to believe we are telling, the way we live will tell the truth about who we are. God is the Author and Creator of all life, but He has given us the freedom to write our own story. What story we tell is up to us.

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We can’t dictate every circumstance, but we can decide how we respond to whatever comes our way. The trouble is, we tend to not be able to see the forest for the trees. We tell ourselves our life is telling one story, when in truth, it is saying nothing of the sort.

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Why do we sin? Perhaps if we could understand why we sin, we could begin to limit how often we do it. My experience has shown me all sin can be traced back to either selfishness or pride. We want what we want and we want it now. We want what we want regardless of whether it is pleasing to God or beneficial to our spiritual walk. What’s going on here is indicative of both selfishness and pride.

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We determine our personal desires are more important than God’s plans for us. This is the height of arrogance and pride. In essence, we are telling God we know better than He does. Our selfishness causes us to focus on ourselves instead of on God.

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One of the biggest stumbling blocks to living a life wholly devoted to Jesus is when you get tired and begin asking, “What about me?” I’ve met many professing Christians who pledge their devotion to Jesus but never seemed to have let go of pursuing their own dreams and desires. After serving on a mission trip, they need to take a little time off “just for themselves”.

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They’re okay to work really hard for Jesus during the day, but the nights are theirs to relax on the couch or out with friends. The problem of course is when you gave your life to Jesus, you surrendered everything to Him at that moment. There are no loopholes in the life of a disciple.

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You are who and where you are today because of the choices you have made. This is true in your personal life, and most assuredly true in your spiritual life. You are as close to God as you choose to be. Each day of our lives, we choose whether or not to do what Christ has instructed us to do. Spiritually speaking, we are not a victim of circumstance; we are the product and sum total of our choices.

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You can’t blame anyone else for the state of your Spiritual progress. Holiness is your choice. Obedience is your choice. No matter your circumstances, your relationship with God is all up to you. He simply waits for you to take hold of everything He offers.
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If we’re honest we don’t love like Jesus. Our love is very conditional. There is great need all around us, but whether or not we choose to love the individuals in the depths of that need is based on our upbringing, our societal norms, whether anyone else is watching, or worst of all, how it will make us look in the eyes of others.

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Jesus never hesitated to love. He didn’t measure His actions against anything other than God’s will. Christ was love at His very essence, and everything He did flowed out of who He was. If we’re honest, loving like Jesus means we must always be searching for ways to demonstrate His love to others.

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What does it mean to love God? The question may seem too obvious or simple to people who consider themselves to be Christians. Of course we love God; it’s the entire point of being a Christian, right? While that’s true, I’ve observed many who simply pay lip service to the notion of loving God. What does it mean to love God and what does it look like as we live it out in our day to day lives?

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To love God means we have no other desire for our lives than to do His will. We no longer have any desire outside of Him. It can sound a bit over the top or impossible to achieve, but if our lives are truly devoted to Him, this is what it means to love God.

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What is your life purpose? This isn’t a self-help or live your dreams type of article. As a follower of Jesus, your life purpose should be self-evident, but for too many it is not. The tendency is for our days to pass without much conscious or intentional thought about living for Jesus. We fall into our schedules and routines far too casually and comfortably. Jesus is – at best – left watching from the sidelines.

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This isn’t how it should be and it must stop. We can’t spend our lives living for ourselves and expect to spend eternity living with Christ. Our lives must be different from those around us. And this must start now.
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There is no better cure for discouragement than gratitude. We often become so consumed with our personal problems that we lose sight of all the blessings in our life. Taking the time to reflect on all that we have can be a remarkably healing and refreshing exercise. Remembering what God has done for us empowers us to face the next challenge. We who profess to be followers of Jesus have no excuse to feel hopeless and unworthy. The Creator of the entire universe and everything in it – including you – sacrificed His own life to prove how important you are to Him. He created you, and He died for you. If you can think of nothing else for which you are grateful, then just start with those two facts!

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I have been neglecting Jesus in areas of my life. My own selfishness has been getting in the way. These are not joyful realizations or comfortable words to share, but they are the truth. It is so easy to be self-absorbed within our own lives. Seeking Jesus first is more than getting up early to read the Bible and pray. It’s a life- long commitment to the way we live every second of every minute of our lives. Everything we think, say, and do must be done within the framework of serving and honoring Jesus. There is nothing we possess – be it material goods or personal skills – that did not come from God. He gave us everything. The only way to honor such immense blessings is to give them all back to Him.

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I’d wager that most Christians pray a lot. I’d also be willing to bet that a large majority of our prayers are self-serving requests rather than being filled with thankfulness or praise. Many never pray until they are in some sort of a jam and in desperate need of being bailed out. There is a time to call on the name of the Lord to rescue you. There are definitely appropriate times to ask Him for strength, wisdom, and courage. Even more important are the prayers that thank Him for His love and blessings, prayers that praise Him for His holiness and overall awesomeness! We should daily be cultivating a strong relationship with Him in prayer, learning more about Who He is and what part He has equipped us to play in His mission. Yet most of our prayers are selfish, shallow, and quite probably worthless.

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