Friday, March 12, 2010

Battling My Selfish Heart

For from time to time, those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. Acts 4:35

I'm sure I'm not the only parent who is frustrated time after time by their children's selfish behavior. Our oldest consistantly tries to sell things to his little brothers, and by sell, I mean rip off; getting any of the kids to share their precious possessions is like pulling teeth. I am so frustrated until my Heavenly Father reminds me just how much the apples are not falling far from the tree. When he opens my eyes to just how much value I put in the monetary things.

I am seriously ticked off at Him, because our house deal fell through. I question Him. I try to bargain with him. Dear God, I really NEED this house to sell so I can pay off our credit cards and be a good christian steward just like Dave Ramsey says. Dear God, I would be so generous if you would just bless me financially. Dear God, Your kingdom would be so much better off if I were so much better off. I don't actually pray these things, but they are in my heart, and He knows it.

So what is my solution. I don't know, but I vow to keep seeking ways to be less selfish until I actually become less selfish. I don't want to be the adult christian woman who's attitude is really like that of a three year old who's favorite word is "Mine!". I know that the one who dies with the most toys does not win, and having the most toys has never been my desire. I do, however, have a certain standard of living that I selfishly think I'm entitled to, as much as I hate to admit it.

Whatever it is that we are unwilling to give up is what we believe we are entitled to. Is it a nice suburban home? living in a good neighborhood? annual family vacations? Nice clothes? retirement accounts? High-def televisions? an awesome cell phone? going out to eat? health care? good public schools? clean drinking water?...Shall I continue?

The truth is, we are not entitled to anything. Every single breath we breathe is a gift. It is all a gift from above. God did not promise us a life of luxury or even a life of relative comfort. He said "take up your cross and follow me". I don't know about you, but I certainly do not feel the weight of a cross bearing down on my shoulders. I do feel a burden, but it is a self inflicted burden of selfish greed. This burden of greed is the one I need Christ to take from me, then I can live a life of generosity and gratitude. This is what pleases Him, and so this should be my heart's desire.

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