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Selfish or Selfless: Which Are You?

Leaving a Legacy for our children, as you can see from my many blogs, is no small responsibility. God calls us to a higher purpose when we have children. He lays a heavy burden of truth and direction. I am sure, like me, that you take it seriously, but do you have the awareness of yourself enough to know what you have exposed the children to that may not be God-focused?

 

I have spent a fair amount of time talking about resentment and hate due to my own difficulties with this. Why did I have this resentment? Was it justified? (Does that even matter?) The object of my resentment was someone who was extremely selfish and some would say Narcissistic. It defied everything that I believe even though I believe we all suffer from selfishness. Hers was extreme and very oppressive. That being said, what is the cure because God is looking for humble servants that give up self to follow Him.

 

Michael Wells has written that we are to give up our “I” for His “I”. He uses the analogy of a sponge. That if we were a wet sponge, wet with our own self “I”. That we are to take our sponge and put it on the cross with Jesus and allow our sponge to drain into the cross so that we are empty of our self-seeking. He then says that our sponge can then soak up all of Jesus’s “I”. I like that analogy because it is so clear and helps me see the transference of Jesus’s love into me.

 

A friend told me something very pragmatic in relation to our “I”. He said it is much better for us to be interested than be interesting. Again, something that I can understand and do.

 

So what are the steps to releasing from oneself:

  1. Don’t act as though you have no love for yourself. You do. Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matt. 22:39 A healthy self-love is legitimate and right. If you try to act as though you have no love of yourself, then self-love will dress itself up in other guises and come back again. Do love yourself in a healthy way.
  2. To love yourself healthily, you must lose yourself. To be truly selfish, you must be unselfish. Your true self is only realized as you help others with your unique talents and gifts. The happiest people I know take on the burdens of others and talk about how that makes their hearts sing. A man on the Titanic who was an author had to choose to drop his manuscript to save a child. He went for the child who was dead but he found another child, alive, held it up, and then drowned himself. He lost himself and found himself forever.
  3. The only way to be able to live with yourself is to love others. Mother Teresa spent her life helping the poor. In letters she shares how lonely she was for so long and yet she could share the joy she had in helping the poor. She lost herself by surrender. She not only transformed herself but hundreds of others who joined her in her mission despite the church’s disdain for what she was doing.
  4. Deliberately take on yourself obligations and interests that will make you forget yourself. A man retired early from a job that he hated at sixty. In three weeks he had a nervous breakdown and the rest gave no relief. In his early days, he was a juvenile delinquent and barely missed going to jail. He decided to give himself to delinquents, snapped out of his nervous condition and has never had a relapse. He forgot himself and became important in the importance of the task.

 

Help me Lord in this day to be great only in the greatness of the kingdom and to be significant only in the kingdom’s significance.

 

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joe-sturnioloBy Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring about significant impact for His Kingdom.

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