Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 28: Purpose Stealers - The worship of me



My husband Anthony and I are history buffs, but we differ in the way we approach history. Ant spends hours watching the History Channel as they recount countless facts surrounding World War II or the Cold War. On the other hand, I love the stories behind history. I enjoy discovering the facts within the confines of a compelling story. He wants to know the facts. I want to know the people and how those facts affected their lives.

So with that backdrop, I'll admit to a little trivia about me. Titanic is one of my favorite movie. Even though the story of Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson is completely fictitious, I love the brilliance behind the weaving of their story into true occurrences of the Titanic.

Rose, a feisty young woman, boards the Titanic with her mother and her fiance Cal, son of a steel tycoon. Her mother insists that Rose's impending marriage to Cal is necessary for their financial survival and social standing, but Rose despises her fate. Cal is arrogant and obnoxious, although his insecurities conspicuously seep through. Rose dreads the life she faces with this self-absorbed man who uses intimidation to demand respect and honor from her.

In Cal's mind, it's all about him.

If there's one thing you should remember from "31 Days of Purpose" it's this: our lives are not all about us. We cannot follow God's purpose for our lives if we focus entirely on ourselves. You can call it what you want -- selfishness, self-centeredness, egocentricity. It all boils down to "the worship of me."

How can we commit our lives to God's purposes for us and this world, if we're consumed with our own needs and desires? How can He use us to effect change in our culture and even the world, if we can't stop worrying about ourselves, our own families or our own bank accounts? How can we focus on Him and His will when we can't get our eyes off ourselves?

In Kay Warren's (wife of Pastor Rick Warren) Dangerous Surrender, she calls her proclivity to self-centeredness "The Kingdom of Me."
"If I was going to begin to care about those who were infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, some things were going to have to change. However, I liked my life; it was comfortable, safe, predictable yet exciting -- and on top of that, I had enough problems of my own. My reluctant thoughts may resonate with you. Are you asking yourself the same questions? I think you will find the same ugly reality I found: what stands in the way of your surrender to God's plan to engage with hurting people is simply that you care more about yourself than you do about the suffering of others."
Ouch.

Now what did Jesus have to say about this concept of the worship of me?
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:23-24.
What can the worship of me lead to?
  • Sin - The worship of me is a sin within itself, but it can lead to other sins. Extramarital sex, be it adultery or sex before marriage, stems out of the desire to please oneself over pleasing God. Most people steal out of this same desire to please self. List almost any outward sin, and it can usually be traced to this worship of self.
  • Lack of fellowship with God - If I'm most concerned with myself, I can't possibly give God his due praise and worship. If I believe my time belongs to me, I'll find little time to spend with God in His Word. If I'm most concerned with what I want, I won't consult Him much on life decisions, big or small.
  • Short-sighted view - If my vision stops at the tip of my own nose, I won't be able to see the needs of others. If I walk around with blinders on my eyes, I won't see the huge material, psychological and spiritual neediness of others. Even worse, I won't care.
What does the worship of me look like?
  • Lack of giving - If I'm most concerned about myself, I'm probably not going to give much of my money or resources to others. I'll turn the television channel when I see the Asian or African child with the bloated belly swarmed by flies. I won't consider giving to parachurch ministries and missionaries. And I'll give a bare minimum to my church offering, if that much.
  • Squandered gifts and talents - If I'm focused on me and mine, I won't invest my most precious resources on others. I'll use my gifts and talents to make a living, but I won't use them to serve other people or my community. 
  • Wasted time - When I've completed my day at work or school, I'll see the rest of my time as "me-time." I'll spend hours and hours watching reality television and sitcoms. Or I'll spend all my extra time reading romance novels. Or I'll surf the internet all day long, watching you-tube, updating my facebook status, tweeting, or God forbid, watching pornography.
Now, there's nothing wrong with television, novels or the internet. I personally love watching movies, reading novels and surfing the 'net. We can use these mediums as a social outlet, career enhancement and entertainment, but we must use them with balance.

I'm committed to worship my Lord and Savior above all else, including myself. Will you commit to the same?

Purposed For Him,

Carla

9 comments:

  1. oooooo, very good post today my friend. The power of truth.

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  2. I'm with Michelle. Great post. Great truth.

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  3. Thanks Monique! Love you girls!!!

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  4. Ouch is RIGHT! Well spoken boldly!

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  5. Thanks Jennifer! Getting bolder at the end of the month, I guess!!!

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  6. Kay Warrens quote...WOW God is certainly moving!

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  7. A belated OUCH, indeed! This was a great post and touches on what I feel like changing in my life; that something that is unknown territory and, although exciting, makes me feel nervous... but that's the change that God is calling me to make- to get outside of myself and focus on what Jesus would do in the "here and now". Thanks again!

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