Saturday, January 26, 2013

Selfishness on display

It’s not a secret: I am a selfish person.

To some extent, we’re all selfish. But some of us more than others.

I have a few friends who I believe are among the most selfless people ever. They are moms of multiple little ones, and they give sacrificially, generously, continuously with their family.

I, on the other hand, fight against selfishness daily. Hourly. Moment by moment.

A few months ago we started discussing moving Samuel out of his bedroom on our main floor to our finished attic upstairs. Lauren is already upstairs and there are two rooms in the attic. I started dreaming of having a whole other room on our main floor.


Craft room?

TV/library room?

Maybe a combination of all of the above?

For as long as we’ve lived in our home, our bedroom has included our computers, a printer, my craft stuff, all of my books (of which there are a lot at all times and I can never find the one I’m looking for), a filing cabinet and endless piles of paper because I am the opposite of organized.

Our dressers look like garbage dumps (without the smell).


So at the thought of having additional space, I got excited.

Really excited.

And then after having approximately 24 hours to imagine the peace and beauty this room would create, my husband called.

And my selfishness was on display for all to see.

He has a friend who is struggling with some health issues. His current living situation is no longer working out. He needs a place to live. He is willing to pay rent.

We have a room.

We could use the extra money. 

And just like that my dreams and hopes of a peaceful, clean, organized room went up in smoke.

And I wasn’t happy.

I write at work about generosity. I believe Scripture calls me to live a life of giving and caring and sacrifice.

And yet when the opportunity arises, the flesh in me is all about self. My space. My home. My stuff. My room.

I have so much room to grow. And so much stuff to give away. And so much to organize : )

It’s hard to admit one is selfish. But it’s even harder when it’s on display for others to see.

But what God has been teaaching me this past year is that the solution isn’t for me to focus on trying to make myself less selfish.

The solution is God. It’s Jesus. It’s the Gospel story of grace.

It’s about recognizing and believing that the “gospel is the final answer to every issue and problem in life.”

Unselfishness will not come about by focusing my time and energy on pursuing an unselfish life. When I focus on the gospel and what God has already done, only then do I discover the power for transformation to take my ugly selfishness and replace it with God-honoring selflessness.

Because selflessness at its core means less of self. However, I like Stacy. I do not want less of Stacy.

The ugliness in my heart tells me I need more of Jesus because there isn’t room for both.

The situation with my husband’s friend didn’t pan out, but God certainly used it to reveal the state of my heart. And my daily, desperate need to saturate myself in the Gospel and in His grace.

"The Gospel isn’t only what we believe in — because the Gospel is ultimately what we. live. out." ~Ann Voskamp

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