Motherhood for me has been a 10-year process of God slowly, painstakingly, and sometimes painfully revealing to me how selfish I am. Can you relate?
Getting over yourself, isn’t that what this God-life is all about?
And yet I keep tripping over my “self”.
Selfishness, pride, wanting to be in control – that’s what Satan wanted, too.
The Bible is pretty clear:
“…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
“But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
But every day I struggle. I find an ugly confrontation between my “self” and obedience to my Lord. Obedience to these principles of serving others. If I’m honest with myself, for some reason I often feel the need to protect “my time”, “my desires”, “my needs” and put them above those of the people nearest and dearest to me.
And unfortunately, the results of this struggle are often some of my deepest areas of heartache.
- I see it in my quick and less than gracious response when one of the kids asks me to get something for them, again.
- I see it when my son asks me to read to him before bed and I selfishly say no in order to do what I want.
- I see it when I put rules above relationships.
- I see it when I’m asked to play a game, push someone on the swings, and I respond with “in just a few minutes”… and then I forget altogether.
- I see it when my husband approaches me and I’m just not in the mood.
- the years my kids will be in my house are slipping by quickly. There will be a day when I wish one of them were here to ask, again.
- someday I may regret not saying yes more often.
- will my family remember me loving them lavishly or building a wall of selfishness around myself with each and every “maybe later”?
- will I see my selfish attitude mirrored in the story of their lives?
When I “win” the struggle for “self”, the ones around me, and ultimately, I, lose.
But when God wins the struggle, everyone wins.
I know that in my head, but for some reason my heart still fights it. But I continue to pray, continue to push on, continue to try to remember with each and every response to deny myself and obey Christ.
“Brothers and sisters, God has shown you his mercy. So I am asking you to offer up your bodies to him while you are still alive. Your bodies are a holy sacrifice that is pleasing to God. When you offer your bodies to God, you are worshiping him.”
Someone once told me that the most difficult part about being a living sacrifice is that at any moment you can choose to climb off the altar. What an awesome word picture!!
May God’s mercy, grace, and love keep us there ~ denying “self” and obeying Him.