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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Deep Thought Thursday ~ Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Deep Thought Thursday ~ Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

I've never understood the concept of being selfish, even though I have been selfish many times throughout my life. In fact, I've spent a large amount of my life being selfish and not even knowing it. I didn't realize that I was being selfish with my time. I used to be a real loner. Part of it was due to the fact that I have Social Anxiety Disorder, which God has helped me overcome by leaps and bounds. And it's something that God and I are still working on. But the other part of my loneliness was due to my selfishness. There was a time when my friends wanted me to go out with them but I would rather stay at home playing video games and watching movies. I did like to go out and have fun, but sometimes a friend would want me to run some errands with them and I would think to myself "I don't want to waste my time with this person unless we're doing something fun." I'd rather stay at home and race a car or slay some huge beast all from the comfort of my recliner. What a waste.

Over time I've learned that doing the simplest things with people, like spending time with them while they run errands is a great way to connect. It's not always as easy to connect with people when you're just having fun with them. I got myself into this daily routine where I would have to do certain things everyday and that interfered with my social life, not that I had much of one anyway. That was a dangerous place to be, to be stuck in a routine, same thing everyday. But it was comfortable, why knock it?

A good friend of mine gave the message at church this past Sunday since our pastor is on a mission trip. He talked about getting too comfortable with the everyday routine. He had become too comfortable in his life as well, so he changed a few things up. He said we need to take an adventure. It could be a big one or a small one, but just do something different for a change. Approach God in different ways. I thought it was a great message. So after church, instead of going out to eat like we usually do, my girlfriend, her little boy, and I went to the grocery store and bought some things so we could go on a picnic. It was a lot more work than just going out to eat and I probably spent more money than I would eating out, but it was so rewarding to sit in the shade of a tree somewhere away from town and just enjoy ourselves. Plus, there was enough leftover food to last that I could take to work the rest of the week. So I really spent less money than eating out in the long run.

Anyway, to get back to the subject of selfishness and why I don't understand the concept of it. There are people out there who live only for themselves, "Me, me, me, mine, mine, mine. I'll take whatever I want when I want it, no one can stand in my way to get it!" I imagine that this is the phrase that constantly repeats over and over again in the mind of a selfish person. What is the point of serving only yourself? How can someone like that even have a true relationship with others? If you spend your life serving others, then most likely others will serve you back. But we should not serve others expecting anything in return. If we do that, then it is still selfish to do something just to get something.

Christians tend to fall into this trap as well. How many have done things for God expecting a reward from him. We cannot approach God as if we're his pets and he's dangling a Snausage over our heads waiting for us to do a trick for him.

I know it's besides the point but sometimes we misjudge God's will for us. He throws us a Beggin' Strip and we yell "It's bacon!"

Okay, that's enough of the God and dog treats analogies. Gotta get back on track.

In the book of 2 Samuel in the Old Testament, King David is on the roof of his palace when he sees a woman bathing. He sends someone out to find out about her. He finds out that her name is Bathsheba and she is married to Uriah, a soldier in David's army, but it didn't stop David from taking her for himself. She became pregnant to David, so David decided to send Uriah to the front lines of battle so he would be killed. This is where selfishness can lead us sometimes. The story goes on:

The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. "Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him." David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity." Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' (2 Samuel 12: 1-10)

Even though David was king he could have had Nathan killed for revealing David's selfishness and humiliating him. But David was humble, he knew Nathan was right and he realized what he had done was wrong. Nathan reassured David that God would forgive him, but there would be consequences to David's decisions.

I think community is the key for living selflessly. Letting your neighbor borrow things or even giving things away. So get to know your neighbor, and I'm not just talking about the people who live next to you. There is a great song by Derek Webb called "Rich Young Ruler" which has a message of generosity by truly giving. Perhaps I will talk about that song in another post. It relates to the rich young ruler story in the Bible. I'm not going to type it all out (i.e. copy and paste), but you can find it here.

So many celebrities and financially wealthy people find out the hard way that having everything really means nothing when it boils down to it. Sure, financial security must be nice, but it doesn't even come close to filling that empty space inside. Following Christ seems to be the thing that works for me. I'm not sure what else to say about selfishness other than it's just not worth it.

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