31.1.06

Self loathing - Jesus Army Life, Day 199

Sometimes your selfishness comes up and smacks you in the face. It would be nice to pretend that living in community, sharing all you have, giving yourself for others would cure you of the disease of selfishness - far from it, only the saving work of Jesus does this. But community does help shine an arclight on the whole situation from time to time.

The pressures of community of course drive you to rely more on yourself at first: you look to your natural strengths to get through, you learn how to work with other people, you learn how not to rub people up the wrong way (sometimes), you learn effectively to put yourself last; but this can still be so much about you and not very much about Jesus. It can be all you doing the work, all you suffering the pressure, all you doing the organising and caring, rather than remembering that your job is to die and allow Christ to live through you.

So this has hit me lately. I think I had grown to become so self-involved (even though I thought a lot of my time was given to others) and I forgot those most important to me, those who are quietly loving and loyal and deserve to be cherished. I'd noticed I was becoming bitterly rude but hadn't appreciated why - I just thought I was cutting through so much superficiality. I am resolving to learn a lesson: if more than 50% of my thoughts are consumed with myself, or anything else I guess, rather than Christ then I'm living wrongly. How I truly quantify this isn't really the point, it's just a way of estimating how I'm doing. I never ever want to be so focused on my self that I effectively deny Christ again.

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
John 12:24-26