Can one be Selfish and Selfless? I honestly do not believe so, and that may offend many. I was encouraged recently to "stop giving so much to others" and to "give more to myself, take more for myself". More what? I am confused at this piece of advice (given by a licenced professional)...if God would like me to take more for myself I am MORE THEN SURE that He will provide. What is being asked of me is for me to say "No" to what God has asked me, called me, to do...who am I to say no? My words are meaningless in the grand scheme of things so I will share with you what God has highlighted from His word for me.
9-10Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
17-19Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."
20-21Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
I must be missing the part about satisfying my selfish wants...or perceived needs. Who determines what a "need" truly is? All we need is God and in Him, through Him, we will have everything. I would rather my children were starved of food then of the knowledge of Jesus Christ!
14-17Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
What if we all took a step back when an interruption is thrown in our path and see what opportunity God is giving us to meet Jesus? Would we be able to be selfish if we were seeing Jesus everyday? Touching Jesus everyday?...
Proverbs 27-29 has been our "family verse" for 2012...we as a family are longing for a closer relationship with Jesus. Through trying to live by this verse for the entire year I honestly believe we are being changed from the inside out and the outside in. My children are learning that life is not always a pretty picture, if God has given us the time, ability, money we MUST say YES. My children are showing me a level of compassion towards others that I did not know could exist in a child, they are learning to put others first (yes even each other :) and everyday I am excited to hear of their encounters with Jesus!!!!!!
27-29 Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God's hand for that person.
Don't tell your neighbor "Maybe some other time"
or "Try me tomorrow"
when the money's right there in your pocket.
Don't figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
when he's sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.
I pray that when my children are grown and they think back to our way of living that one of their first thoughts is "I love seeing Jesus!". Too many of us miss out on encounters from our savior because we are too selfish!! Lift your eyes from yourself and see what God has for you...whatever it is I am sure it will be amazing!