Wednesday, August 22, 2012
It's not about me!
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests
of others." Philippians 2:3-4
I have been wrapped up in my own issues lately, trying to solve problems, dealing with feelings I am not familiar with. But, honestly...it has been about me, me me. Oh, I know others around me may not think I am selfish, and most would not see how distressed I was. But trust me...ME was about all I could think about. And, perhaps that is why nothing ever seemed to get better...I was so wrapped up in my own misery and trying to figure it out that I have been missing the blessings that come from helping others. Getting out of your own world and stepping into someone else's is not always easy and most of the time uncomfortable...but when you reach out to a friend, or help a complete stranger...many times it ends up blessing YOU more than you can imagine!
I am reading a book about being missional in your every day life called Right Here, Right Now. Something I read today inspired me to step out of my own issues and open my eyes to the people around me. I read today of a set of practices that would "provoke one another to love and good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24) They use the acrostic BELLS to explain it:
Bless Seek to do 3 acts of blessing a day for people around you, both of your faith and outside it. The acts can be as simple as an encouraging note or email or even a nice gift for someone who needs a smile. (I know someone I work with who loves to give annoymous gifts for people "just because" ;-)
Eat Share at least 3 meal a week with others outside your immediate family. The idea being that around the table people open up and "gospel" things happen.
Listen Commit to at least one hour a week being quiet and LISTENING for the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When you clear your mind of the every day busyness and just listen to your surroundings, it is amazing what God can speak in to your heart. No, it probably won't be an audible voice, but God can speak through your conscience, a thought, or even a bird singing in the tree outside your window. When you open your mind to that possibility, you will find that the idea doesn't sound so hoaky!
Learn Commit to reading from the Bible each week, specifically from the 4 Gospels of Jesus. If you want to learn more about Jesus and how to live more like him, you have to know what he taught and study how he lived. reading other books of the Bible help too. Reading other books, both fiction and nonfiction are good too as it expands your mind and your perspective.
Sent Stay mindful of opportunites to serve others in your everyday life, and then journal about those opportunites. Journal about missed opportunities as well. This journal will be a reminder that God sent us to be his light in this world.
The BELLS practice sounds like a good way to get my mind out of my SELF and open my heart to the people around me. I don't think it's wrong to be concerned about your own problems and issues, but when those problems and issues become all you can think about, you run the risk of shutting the needs of others out and you will miss out on the blessings that come with serving and loving others. Those blessings may be JUST what you need to help solve your problems in the first place! What a good message for me this morning!