Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Friday, January 31, 2014

What if it is not all about me? Part 2

After yesterday's blog some people had a few questions and wanted more said on this topic. I don't have all the answers on this, I am still in the process of being transformed by Christ from self-centered to Christ centered.  God is working on me.

Remember, it is a work that God does in us.  This too is about God. 

Spiritual disciplines our important things that we can do to open ourselves to Gods work in our lives. They help us to deny ourselves and connect to God. Prayer helps us to focus on others. I know that we can pray selfishly and there are times that we do. Yet, Jesus tells us when we pray we are to pray as a part of the family of God. Our Father...Give us our daily bread...forgive our trespasses...as we forgive...lead us...deliver us.

Prayer is not  self-centered and true prayer, offering ourselves and others to God, moves us out of the center and focuses our live on our need for God and our care for others.

Spending time in God's word, reading and meditating on the scriptures help us to shift our focus from ourselves to God.  It speaks to us about God's love for us and mutual love for one another.  God uses his word to change us from the inside out and to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow him.  He is withing the words of the bible that we encounter in a real and tangible way The Word that is God and becomes flesh and dwells among us.  It is not easy to read the words of scripture and remain self-centered.  Jesus says, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23.  Following Jesus begins with daily self-denial.  

Worship helps to shift our center as well.  True worship is not about us it is about God.  It is offering our love, adoration and attention to God.

Another spiritual discipline that God can use to shift our center is service.  Serve others.  Through service we experience the joy of being use by God and experience Christ in the people we serve.  Service changes us.
Doing the "one another's" of the bible helps us to deny self and follow Jesus.  Love one another.  Serve one another.  Carry one another's burdens.  We can't do the pone another's and remain self centered.  God changes us as we deny ourselves in this way,

Books have been and can be written on these spiritual habits and practices.   They enable us to arrange our lives in such a way that we can encounter God and he can do the work of transformation in us.

Finally, I know that we might wonder if it really is more pleasurable to be Christ-centered than self-centered.  I mean after all if I just set out to please my self would that be pleasurable?  Would that be more pleasurable than living for what pleases God?

Unless you are an extreme narcissist, which means psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem, you know that you really do experience more pleasure from selfless acts than you do a selfish act.  I can blow hundreds of dollars on myself, have a temporary good time (and I have), and be left empty and drained of life afterwards.  Every time that I have selflessly given to help others It has been life giving and the pleasure last.  We feel this at moments around the holidays when we expand our hearts to care for other.  We experience this in moment of disaster when suddenly we reach out and rely on others and care for others.  We fell this on mission trips and when we do random acts of kindness.  We feel this when we lose ourselves in worship of the one who created us for his pleasure and loves us, cares for us and wants what is best for us.   

I guess what I want to say is give it a try.  You will not be disappointed.

What if it is all about Him?

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug


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