Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter has passed.. my selfishness remains.

Easter always brings about contemplation and deep thought for me.

To think that a God would love me so much that he would purpose
his only child to death on a cross. (or death at all...)

To think that a person, perfect and sinless, would WILLINGLY endure such a painful and seemingly insecure death to further His father's will.

To think that a mother, aware of God in her son, watched Him endure that death incapable of preventing or halting it.

To think that that His death enabled me to LIVE and live in relationship with the Father for all eternity.

And mostly, to think of this passage- "And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again...2 Corinthians 5.15"

I realize this: His death has not impacted my life in a way that I am living no longer for myself and solely for the one who died for me!!!

And I hate it.

I recognize
my selfishness all throughout the day. Starting at sun up.

My kids stir and I am praying for a few more minutes of quiet so I can rest.

They begin asking for breakfast and I tell them, "In a minute"... about 30 times.

I tell them to hurry and dress so we can get to Panera for a latte (as I can't function without one) all the while telling them they can't have a bagel everyday because it adds up and is expensive.

I get frustrated when they don't understand their school work because it's an inconvenience to me to have to re-explain the same principle to them.

I refuse countless requests for PlayDough because it means parental participation and extensive clean up.
I eat whatever I want despite the fact that I know what is good and not good for my body.

I rarely exercize because despite the fact that it may be beneficial in the long run... today it hurts like heck.

And I won't even get into the "Not Tonight" statement...

And I hate it.

And I always want to change it but it seems nothing is harder than living solely for the Lord and not at all for myself. I understand fully what Paul meant when he wrote "The things I do I do not want to do for the things I do not do are those I want to do" Romans 7.

Matter of fact- The Message puts it so plainly that despite the length of this post(yes, I realize how long it is already) I am going to add that text here because it is worth reading.

I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience? Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions.
Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 7.14-25

My hope is in Christ. It's clear that I am unable to do anything on my own. I need to be fully focused on Him. I am tired of being so concerned with myself. Even in this process of becoming more like Him I find the time to focus on myself. Am I growing fast enough. Is He pleased with ME? Am I doing all I can? Am I sharing His love enough with others?


Today is a new day. I will not have to be asked twice. If the Lord asks anything of me. I will do it. If my children ask anything of me... I will do it. (Obviously within reason) If Paul asks anything of me... I will do it. (Can I throw a little humor in here confessing there is a bit of security in posting this last statement in that it isn't carte blanche... he doesn't actually read my blog!!) And well, if any of you ask anything of me... I will do it.

Have a SELFLESS day today friends. I commit to doing the same.


Mari said...

Great post Chelle'. I am selfish too and need frequent reminders!

girlymom said...

Chelle, I think as mom's we see any small thing that we do for ourselves as being selfish. In order to do all of the things others need from us, sometimes we also have to stop and take a minute or a latte for ourselves. It took me a long time to realize this. I believe that we do what we can, we question whether we can do more and at the end of the day if we tried out best, that will be enough for Him. Enjoy your children, Husband, your life, your day and in that happiness you will see Him there with you and in them.

Thank you for the thoughtful, challenging, reminder of a post.
Enjoy that Latte too!

Kenzie Stanfield said...


Hey girl... I have gone back and forth over this issue so many times. It's like the getting-down-on-the-floor-and-playing issue- I do it, I do it often, but there are days when I have things to do: laundry, vaccuming, dishes, etc. when I just can't. I have felt guilty many times and yet, I have had MANY wiser, older mothers tell me "They HAVE to learn these lessons that you are teaching about everyday life. They don't need to be constantly entertained." I have realized that they are right, and while I might give in to an indulgence here and there (ice cream at the store, etc.) they just can't get it all. :) Don't be too hard on yourself... but, I definitely know that I am WAY MORE SELFISH than I need to be!

Many blessings and love... and prayer,

Nancy said...

What a wonderful post and reminder to me of how selfish I am too.. We are so Blessed to have God's gift.
Thank you for this post