Do you remember a time in your life when you were selfish? Like totally selfish? I think we all can remember at least once in our lifetimes. There’s this one time that I wish I could forget…
NOT BEANS AGAIN!
I remember throwing a fit because I didn’t like what mama had cooked for supper. We had eaten beans and cornbread more times than I thought we should, and I decided I just was not going to eat them again.
I don’t remember what all mama had cooked, she may have made fried taters or chicken, but whatever it was, I had no intention of eating it.
I proudly declared that I was not going to eat beans and cornbread again. I wanted mama to make something else. I fully expected her to. Imagine my surprise when she made herself a plate and ignored my selfish rantings about not liking what she cooked.
My mama let me know that she would be eating the meal she had prepared, and I could either eat it or do without. Say what?
ALL ABOUT SELF
Have you ever sulled up? I mean, puffed your chest out, crossed your arms, and frowned as if you were owed something that wasn’t given? That was me. Sulled up. Mad.
Did I mention I was starving? Boy, was I ever. So, what made me act like a selfish, inconsiderate person? I think I hit the nail on the head…I was selfish. It was all about self.
Was I thinking about mama working at the Nursing Home cooking for hours? Did I consider how her feet probably throbbed? How it more than likely took everything in her just to stand up and cook supper for us?
Apparently not. I was more concerned about self. It was all about me. My wants. My desires.
See, we didn’t keep snacks on hand like people today are used to. I couldn’t simply open the fridge and grab something to stick in the microwave.
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
I didn’t want what was cooked. So we had a problem. Actually, we didn’t have a problem…it was just me. I had a problem. A problem with selfishness.
Oh, if I could only go back and change the way I acted on some occasions. This would be one of them.
The only good thing I can remember happening was my change of heart.
After watching her eat for a few minutes, I realized I had two choices: eat what she had prepared or go to bed hungry.
Needless to say, I opted to eat the beans. I changed my heart.
When I was an adult, I obeyed the gospel of Christ.
As I have continued to grow as a Christian, I understand we are made for God and for Him alone. I also know one will never find God until we forget about self.
An excellent way to forget about self is to put others first. To truly do our best to show care and concern for those around us.
If I could go back, I would have eaten the meal and thanked mama for taking such good care of me. I would have thanked her for working all day cooking for others then still mustering up the energy to take care of me.
I would have done everything in my power to live the following words of Paul:
Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
WE CAN CHANGE
I realize we can change and grow. Especially when we have love in our hearts for others as Christ loves us.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Charity is love. I loved my mama dearly. I think of and miss her more than words can express.
The thing is, I didn’t show it by my actions when I refused to eat. I am ashamed to say. I was puffed up and behaved unseemly.
I just wish she was here so I could ask her forgiveness. Unfortunately, she isn’t, so I take comfort knowing she would have forgiven me had I asked before she passed. I waited too late. My realization came too late. At least too late to ask her.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
However, not too late to ask God for His forgiveness. I did that the day I repented of my sins and obeyed the gospel of Christ.
Let’s make this personal. Do you esteem others better than yourself? Or are you selfish like the young man in Mark Chapter 10:17-22? This young man seemed to desire eternal life. He asked Jesus how he could inherit it. But that’s as far as it went. He desired it, but he didn’t want to do what it took to have it.
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
The young man in the above verses esteemed self above others. Even above God. He did not want to follow Christ. Not if it cost him more than he was willing to pay.
If you are like this young man, you can change. But you must have the desire. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Put self last. God first. Others second. Don’t have regrets in this life. But especially in death. Once your life is over, you will have no more second chances. The time is now. Make the changes needed before your times runs out.
Become a Christian. Start your walk with Christ. You can do it. Even today.
Like my husband says, when he is preaching, becoming a Christian is a cookie-cutter process. What made them Christians in the 1st century will make us Christians today.
What is that process?
- Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
- Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
- Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
- Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
- Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
- Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
As always, reach out if you have questions or would like to study. I would be MORE than happy to speak with or study with you.
In Christian Love, Leah Brewer