“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand” ~ Proverbs 19:21
SELF is the name of a popular magazine. In fact, looking at the magazines at the grocery checkout, you might think that self is the theme of all of them. The appeal to ego and it is an easy appeal. We naturally want to read something that will tell us how to look prettier, live longer, reduce stress and pain. We inevitably are interested in “getting in touch with ourselves.”
And just as inevitably, we yearn for independence. Children at a younger and younger age free themselves from parental restrictions. Husbands and wives work out arrangements for spending time apart, with the wife sometimes keeping her maiden name to prove her independence. I’ve even seen Husband and Wives go their separate ways when one or the other begins to feel “cramped.” Something in us drives us to be islands, and even when lust or loneliness dries us back toward human companionship, we want it on our own terms, with few attachments and few responsibilities.
But selfishness is tiresome. We have all known people who are truly independent, truly self-sufficient, yet they are not “together.” They are in their own hell, so bound up in their own egos they cannot truly love. It is impossible for them to see around the corner of themselves.
Selfishness is a burden. In the world’s view, each person should “look after Number One,” or “I’m going to Do Me,” pursuing his own goals and plans regardless of anyone else’s needs. But the pursuit is too much for any human being to bear. Even the healthiest, wealthiest, most successful individual cannot endure the strain of being fully responsible for his own life. Even the greatest must face the awkward questions: What happens if my money or health goes? What happens when I die?
In the world of inevitability, these questions have no answer. But people of faith have an answer. Depend on Jesus. Trust in Jesus. Submit to Someone greater than yourself. Be willing to lose your life for only then will you have the life that endures. Our society says “DO YOU” but Jesus said “DENY YOU”. If doing you conflicts with His commandments then what are YOU DOING? “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will find it”(Luke 17:33) This is not the world’s way, but God’s way… Freedom from self.
NEWSFLASH: Heaven won’t be a hall of mirrors. You were created to be in awe of something outside of yourself.
Back to Proverbs 19:21; we make our selfish plans and spend our lives among other people trying to work out their own selfish plans. But Someone BIGGER AND BETTER than ourselves is at work in the universe, thankfully, and His ultimate plan for the world will succeed. We can only imagine what the world would be like if each of us actually achieve our selfish desires. It would not be a pretty place. So be glad today that Jesus is in charge of it all.