One of the greatest battles I fight is getting my mind off myself and onto others. How about you?
My days are consumed with my job, my bills, my family, my significance, my health, am I doing all I can do….and the list goes on and on. There is only one common denominator in all these thoughts.
YUCK! I hate it. I am determined to change that. Who’s with me??
But how? How do you begin to shift your focus on others when so much of our world is “self” focused. The internet, social media, etc. Even when we are focused on others, it’s about US. All the good WE’RE doing in our community, our world. If we’re in the entertainment industry, where WE’RE going to be speaking or playing. What conferences we are going to be at. If we’re in missions or ministry, what WE’RE doing to make a difference.
In all of that, my mind often goes to Matthew 6:3 :
“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,”
But in bringing this criticism, I realized that it was probably rooted in comparisons. When I see those posts or read a story, I wonder when is my turn going to be. I wonder if I’m even fulfilling what God wants me to. I feel excluded and not good enough against those who are out there “doing it”. Making their difference. Following their dreams. And in doing so, I feel less than and purposeless.
Am I the only one?
But then my spirituality kicks in and my heart goes toward Matthew 6: 3, I think about Jesus, who actually ran when people wanted to make him king (John 6:15) and told them not to tell anyone what he was doing when he healed the lepers (Matt. 8:4). Paul tore his clothes in Acts 14: 8-14 when the people wanted to make a big todo about him ministering healing to a man.
Then I question myself and wonder if I’m only judging people and their posts out of jealousy. Because I want to be doing what they are doing? Or because I want to be seen or praised? Or am I truly concerned about it? I don’t know.
In any case, it all comes back to me, me, me! Which was my original thought. How can I focus my life and thoughts on others and what they need? How can I value them and live my life to benefit others? And more importantly, why I don’t?
Has anyone out there learned to do this well and have any tips to offer? I’m seriously asking!
Is this the first step to becoming truly self-less, to realize how selfish and self-centered I truly am??
It’s such a personal battle to each of us, I suppose. There are a million reasons we all fight any battle and those reasons are as individual as we are.
I think for me, it’s one of significance, especially as I age. I’m a few years from 60 and have had many physical issues in the last five years that have slowed me down and actually keep me in a place of isolation because it’s so hard to be mobile. Except to go to work and do life with my family when I can.
This loss has been tremendous and when I see others living such full lives, I am filled with sorrow at the realization that I can’t venture out into life as them. Some days are better than others and I don’t really like to mention it for fear of becoming “that” person!
So I isolate so I don’t have to explain myself or appear like a complainer. I don’t want to draw attention to myself, but I guess I’m doing that right now. LOL
Some days I feel like giving up, but Holy Spirit and the Word in me won’t let me! So glad for that!
But this morning I had a thought that really spoke to me and I want to share it with you:
This thought resonated in my soul big time, sounding an alarm that it was something I’d better get after and soon.
Not comparing myself to others and especially to the woman I was 20 or even 10 years ago (which is a biggy for me), but embrace FULLY the rhythm of my life NOW! Not a pseudo rhythm based on striving to look like everyone else’s, but a true place of acceptance, rest and fulfillment right where I am.
Not looking back or ahead but being present to the day, as it IS, not as I wish it was or think that it should be but as it truly and gloriously IS!
I can’t describe the feeling that statement brought to my soul. The “God smile” that I felt. Like He was saying, “aha, she’s finally getting it”!
It felt safe and secure! It felt loving! And I know I must be more loving to myself, and in doing so, others will reap the benefit.
Maybe that’s the key.
Nothing deep just my thoughts for the day.
Or….. maybe it’s the deepest thought of all:
He did tell me to love Him first and then love others as myself (Mark 12:30-32).