This post has turned out to be rather difficult for me to write. Having deleted what I was going to say twice because it sounded more like rantings than actual wisdom. In all honesty, perhaps this title is misleading in that envy isn’t exactly what I’m talking about, but what envy is at it’s core…selfishness.
I’m sick and tired of selfishness, not just in the lives of those around me but in my very own life. It alone has led to depression problems, anger/control issues, marital problems, and so much more. If I was only selfless in all things…wouldn’t that make everything better?
Unfortunately, no one can be completely selfless, not like Christ was, who gave up His life on the cross to save us all from ourselves. He is the very definition of agape love as John described in chapter 15 verse 13: “Greater love has no more than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends.”
I want to know what that love is like. I want to be wholly surrendered to God so that I quit stumbling and backsliding on my walk with Him. I must say, sometimes I do envy those who seem to come by selflessness naturally. They are the ones at the forefront of this battleground, winning souls over daily for Christ. Meanwhile, I feel accomplished If I read the Bible for a few minutes a day.
Is this convicting? And yet, how many of you will let such convictions fade away as I have done many times. Praise be to God that He loves us anyway, that He just wants to be close to us, whether that looks like talking to Him as you drive to work, or worshiping Him as you do the dishes.
I was going to spend my time writing about all the selfish things I’ve witnessed around me, but have realized that little can be gained in pointing at others when I struggle with the same thing (Matthew 7:3).
An example, would be the depression I once struggled with a few years ago. I was to the point of almost taking medication and believing it was a mental illness when in reality I had allowed my mind to become rewired into thinking poorly and seeing only the hurt and pain around me and in my own life. I was spiraling and no one could save me from this but God and myself.
It was painful because I had to make the decision to fix how my mind operated, and this could only be done through Christ and talking about my feelings with Christian couples I trusted. I cannot stress this enough, that Christ is the answer here…we don’t have the power to pull ourselves out of the pits we dig without His hand reaching down to pull us up. Our action is also required in that we must accept His help and do the hard dirty work of climbing up out of the pit.
What happens is selfishness takes a backseat instead of sitting upfront in the place where God should be sitting. You see depression is selfish also, as hard as it is to admit, thinking of yourself poorly is still thinking of yourself. If your mind is always consumed with self, that is selfish thinking, it doesn’t have to always be positive. They are two sides to the same coin.
I once heard humility described this way as, “not thinking any less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” From there true healing can commence, something that drugs ultimately prohibit and put off. If you are suffering from depression since childhood, you need Christ to uncover what it was that effected you and caused you to spiral. If you were born with a mental problem which causes depression, know that God’s Will doesn’t include you feeling that way. He wants you to be healed and to seek healing apart from medicated emotional control, He wants you to be free.
For those who are suffering from depression within the past few years, ask yourself when it began and why. If you can pinpoint some traumatic event or loss, most likely you just never allowed yourself a chance to heal or to mourn that loss. There is a healthy way to grieve and if we aren’t careful the devil will get us to grieve indefinitely. Because if we are consumed with self, we will not accomplish the things of Christ.
It is as simple as that, the more inward we are focused the less we can give/pour onto others. That is the one crippling factor of selfishness in that it will rob you of your true destiny and true happiness.
You might think that your heart is king and never makes an error or that your heart is pure and reflects the heart of God for your life, but ultimately if God isn’t on the throne of your heart, you will desire only what is evil and what destroys you. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
The cure is more of God. That is always the answer, to any problem you face in this life. More of God=more joy, love, peace, faith, purpose….etc, etc. And so I will seek more of Him and the closer I become to Him perhaps, I will mirror Christ a bit more until that fateful day when He restores the good work He began in me and I can go home.
If you are struggling with this issue, you aren’t alone. If you are witnessing this around you, simply pray that hearts will be softened to hear the truth because let me tell you, no one who is consumed with selfishness is content, and if they are, they are deceived or only momentarily content. They are like leaves in the breeze chasing something that is incomplete and void. They are chasing a very lie from the enemy and many are falling into this pit today, in America alone.
May God bless you on your journey ever closer to His heart, His ways, and His truth. Amen.