I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have an “I” problem.
“I need that, I am so stressed, I didn’t deserve that, I am not good at that, I am so depressed, I have it worse than him/her, I want that.”
One question I have been thinking about is, what is the middle letter in the word PRIDE?
What is the middle letter in the word SIN?
God’s word says in Philippains 2:3
“Do nothing of selfish ambition or vain conceit, rather in humility value others above yourselves.”
Great words Paul, but do you know how hard this is?
I read these types of inspired words, and then this is where the “I” comes back in.
“I want to be comfortable. I want people to like me. I don’t want to offend anyone. I deserve certain things, that person doesn’t deserve that, I want to be as great as her.”
But Gods word always has a way of roping me back into reality.
Paul talks about two things here:
1. Selfish ambition
2. Vain conceit
Selfish ambition says “Its all about me.”
Vain conceit means, “I am always right.”
Is this not the common themes in life today? A common belief in this generation is that we are supposed to be self-centered and self-seeking. It causes us to not want anyone to do better than us and convinces us that life is about creating a comfortable place to live and never have any struggles.
I fear that this idea is destroying us.
It is convincing us to focus on ourselves, often leading to deep depression, it causes us to focus on the aching void that we all have, compare ourselves to others, and fail to realize that we were all born with that void so that we will chose to seek after God and not empty things.
I always used to say “I am just trying to find myself.”
As a Christian, I have to stop and wonder, did Jesus teach us to find ourselves?
Forgive me for being offensive.. But I don’t think Jesus taught this at all. In fact, he taught quite the opposite.
Jesus says “If anyone would come after me, let him DENY himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
I grew up not knowing my biological father. I was blessed with an amazing father who married my mom despite the fact that she had a 7-year-old daughter (me), who then raised me as his own, and loves me as his own. But growing up, this idea of not knowing my real father, left sort of a void within myself. This void I felt would not be filled until I figured out who he was, why he left, why he was the way he was, if I was good enough for him.. I needed answers.
And now that I think about it, I think this was pride festering inside of me, causing me to experience heartache that I could have avoided by understanding that sometimes its okay to not have the answers. This idea that I needed answers and needed to know “who I was” caused me to focus so inwardly that I missed out on what was going on outside of me.
Selfishness grew, and I bought into the idea that I should strive after my own happiness and not others.
Many will say or think to this post, “now Megan, don’t be so hard on yourself, you deserve to feel that way.”
But do I really? Is this what God would say to me?
I don’t think so, I think He would say “A man’s steps are from the Lord;
how then can man understand his way.” Proverbs 20:24
and Jesus said
“whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:29
That idea that grew inside of me, the one that said “I just need to find myself.” It led me to the belief, that I had to experience certain things, that I deserved things, which led to disappointment and discontentment.
I wish I had listened to Jesus’s words a long time ago.
Because the truth is, nothing will ever fill this restless, aching void inside of us except God. We do not need to “find ourselves” we need to find God. No person, job, food, or thing will fill that void except Him.
Have you ever thought about the fact that this life doesn’t really make much sense outside of Gods mission for us? Have you ever realized that we cannot explain or understand that the people we love will become ill and die, people will be rude and mean often for no reason, people will kill and destroy, there are diseases that are uncontrollable and there will always be war and jealousy and hatefulness unless we understand tha this world was made broken because of sin.
The prince of this world(Satan) is out to steal, kill, and destroy, and as crazy as I may sound, we have to wake up.
We have to face the fact that there is a throbbing hurt at the core of our soul that wont go away until we get to heaven.
I think there are two options we have…
One option is to run from reality and numb the pain to avoid the problems. Party as hard as we can, laugh as loud and as often as possible, drink ourselves into oblivion, live in the past or a land of make-believe instead of the present. Strive to have as much comfort and own as many places as things as possible. Work so much we don’t realize we are working our life away.. Buy into the idea of the “American dream.” Work for retirement and move to the beach and thinking we will die tan and happy, because we convinced ourselves that we are just super blessed to live this way, its not actually satan keeping us content. After all, God wants us comfortable, He wants us happy right?
The other option, is wisdom. To learn to live wisely in God’s world in the midst of all the brokenness. To understand that God has given us this opportunity to decide where we will spend eternity and has left us instruction to get to Him through His son and make ourselves into His Sons image through His word.
Solomon experienced the first option. He writes:
“I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the sons of man.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
He says, it was a “striving after the wind.” This means, ambition for the unattainable.. You will never be able to catch the wind. You will never find happiness in these things.
Jim Carrey once said: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”
We have so much proof that comfort is not the answer.. So why are we still chasing it?
Paul writes to the Corinthians “Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” 2 Corinthians 15:34
He says, wake up! There are people out there who have no knowledge of God, I say this to your shame.
I write to my fellow Christians:
Please wake up, we have a job to do!
I do not believe this life is not about focusing on ourselves, finding ourselves, feeling sorry for ourselves, but actually about humbling ourselves…
Realizing how low we are, and how much we need Christ.. Then I think that is when we truly find ourselves.
Jesus is right. I found myself, the day I realized that I am a sinner, I need Christ because I cannot do this alone.. Once I discovered the one true church, that is when I truly understood Jesus when He says
“You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32
It is freeing to humble myself and acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Realizing that God is omniscient, meaning He knows all things about my past, present, and future. And realizing that He is working all things together to bring about His will and that if I am seeking to accomplish His will, all things eventually work together for good. The most freeing way to live is to live my life for His glory. It is an amazing and fulfilling feeling.
The earth is one constant thing..the sun always rises in the east, and sets in the west. It is endless and repetitious. The wind always blows in different directions, swirls and alternates. The rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never filled. Just like evaporation, it is one constant thing that repeats itself.
Nothing is changing. Sure there are airplanes now… But that’s just another way of traveling. Traveling has existed forever.. There are missiles now, but that’s just another example of weapons.. Weapons have existed since David through the rock at Goliath. Penicillin? That’s just another medicine that has been created..
History repeats itself. Eventually everything we accomplish is taken over by someone that didn’t work as hard to accomplish it.
We are not meant to stay here.. Jesus is coming back.. why are we living like He isnt?
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.”