"Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored." Romans 8:5-8, MSG It's not breaking news, we all know we live in a very self absorbed society. And the church is the one group who should be breaking this horrid trend, yet I see it struggling more now than ever with this "selfie" generation, "...measuring their own moral muscle but never getting around to excercising it..." (Romans 8:5). What does the word of God say about the issue of self obsession?
The first sentence of Romans 8 shows us that this self obsession stems from thinking we can do it on our own. When I think that I can do it all on my own, I easily become all about me me me. But when I get to the second sentence and start to trust God's actions in me, therefore His spirit in me, it's not about me. So that's the key—focusing on Him. It's so easy, right? Then why is it such a struggle? I'm definitely preaching to myself y'all. I'm learning from both times recently and in the past where I got so caught up in thinking I can do it on my own, especially when it comes to marriage, motherhood, and ministry. I get into this ugh, I'll-take-care-of-it-all-myself mode and I find myself frustrated with others, not filled up enough to pour into others I want to serve and love on, and just totally losing sight of what this whole Christian life is even all about.
I want to live in that free and spacious life! I don't want to become so self absorbed that I ignore God and all He has for my life—that I end up in that dead end. Haha becoming a mom definitely helps deflect a lot of selfish living, that's for sure ;) But not entirely! I'm also seeing the self-absorbed trend really consume our single Christians a lot these days (not all but more than I experienced in my college days). It's what happens though, it's the fight we're all in. Self or God?
And...God isn't pleased with being ignored. What a strong ending to that portion of scripture. Are you ignoring Him and focusing on yourself more these days? Are you a single who's so consumed in your own matters, you forget that now is the time when you actually have all the time in the world to do the things He's called you to? Or, are you a mom who's ignored God because you feel like you have no choice, your children, the necessities of life consume you? Let's quit thinking we can do it all on our own and focus on the One who can do it all. Only then can God lead us into living in that open, free and spacious life we all so desire!
Selfless living starts when we start thinking of ourselves less and focus on God more.
Sights set on God, Erica