Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dying To Self. Lesson #593.

So! I loved your comments after my post yesterday about dreading fancy/large/public gatherings. And you know how we tend to learn things in layers, understanding them more deeply as we grow-up in God? Well, I really saw more clearly why we loner-types would feel so uncomfortable about those types of dinner parties:

We're sooo concentrating upon ourselves. 

You know, "How will I look? Will I be dressed correctly? How will I feel? Will I say the right things? Will I say the wrong things? What if I don't know what to say? What if I drop a spoon? What if I can't hear what's being said? What if no one talks to me? What if no one finds me interesting?

I ....I.....I .... Me.....Me....Me.....

Good grief.

The whole Bible tells us to knock that stuff off. For one thing, it tells us to keep our minds on God:

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon You, because he trusts in You..."  Isaiah 26:3

So obviously, for me anyway, if I've lost my peace about one of those upcoming dinners, then my mind has veered from God (and what He can do through me) and has traveled to myself (and what I ...I...I ...cannot do.).

(Buzzer sound.) Wrong. Wrong choice.

And then the Bible tells us where else to place our minds:

"So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good to all people ... also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith."  Galations 6:10

So if I'm to fill my mind (be mindful) with ways to be a blessing to others, to stay on the look-out for ideas in order to be kind and thoughtful to those who people my world, well, why's my mind everyplace else in these situations?

We're to think of others more highly than ourselves? (Philippians 2:3) Who knew? heh.... 

Rather than keeping my mind upon my weaknesses, inadequacies and former shyness and how I will look (which is pure pride and no way can God bless and reward that), I'm to creatively consider others and how they feel.

Well, now I know and believe you me (as my dad used to say), the next dinner/lunch/little bitty snack I'm invited to amongst strangers--instead of spending days dreading that upcoming gathering--I'll be imagining ways of how I can encourage those strangers and others, how I can make them glad they came and make them thirsty for the life-giving God shining through me.


Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastfulor vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]." ... 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

"It is impossible to be selfish and happy." ... Joyce Meyer



Rosemary said...

"Focus on others -- not ourselves". Such a simple truth...but so profound. And when we do, somehow WE become much more interesting to the other person. Loved this post, Debra!

Debra said...

Rosemary--thanks so much. Yes, this was an important post and I'm glad you saw that, and too, I love your own observation, as well! Thanks for taking the time to comment--I really appreciate it.... Blessings, Debra