The Blogger Herself

The Blogger Herself

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Danger of Self Focus

Hello Blog World,


Hope you are well!  Love to hear how you spent the last night of 2010.  The truth is as the New Year has come and gone and as is pretty typical for me after the completion of Christmas and the entrance into New Year has left me battling a sense of melancholy.   I could write about why that is, but I don't want to stay in this inward state I've been in so I want to focus upward!  Instead of focusing on where I wish I were, or should be, I am with God's help I'm shifting the focus to Jesus!  Jesus isn't just worthy of my time, and words, He is also worthy of my focus!  Jesus's earthly ministry was not one of self focus, but rather God focused and others focused!  Jesus didn't focus on his own honor or physical needs upon earth.  Instead He poured himself out for those around him, and blessing their lives!
 Phil. 2:5-7 Here it isMake your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 
6 who, existing in the form of God,
did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage. 
7 Instead He emptied Himself
by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men. 
Our society screams the it's all about me, myself, and I.  How I feel, what I need this is what matters.  The fact of the matter is, Christian or not, the last few days, I've bought what our society has been selling hook-line and sinker!  As a result, I've been tumbling through a downward spiral.  Notice verse 7 says Jesus emptied himself, by taking on the likeness of men.  Jesus took on the likeness of men, so that through him we could take the likeness of Christ!  Wow what  irony is that?!     I have been focusing a lot on how empty I felt the last couple days, instead of focusing on how I can empty myself out for others as a way of following Jesus' example.  Then the light-bulb came on!  I   was in a cycle of self.  Both one of self condemnation and self entitlement.  Then, like a neon sign yesterday, I remembered Phil. 4:8.  While it took a hurtful comment for me to see it, which if by the way,  you have a friend or family member battling depression it can be harmful to tell them that what they need is Jesus when you know they are already saved, even if it is in a kidding way, condemnation is not a useful teaching method.  We are all human, which is one reason Jesus spoke about forgiving each other.   All that to say God can use even the misguided intentions of the the people who care about us to teach us convicting lessons.  Phil 4:8   Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.   Paul must have known, and more importantly God knew that for many of us  would struggle to continually focus on Christ instead of ourselves.  So I will ask you the question I'm having to ask myself.  What are we dwelling on?  Are we dwelling on us or Christ?  Are we dwelling on past hurts or present blessings?   Are we dwelling on our failure or the victory of the Saviour?  Are we dwelling on our situation or the God over the situation?  Lord,  if I  must dwell on something, please let be the right something!    Welcome 2011 friends!  I make no vow except that I'm just a gal on a journey to empty myself and praying God will turn my ashes into a crown of beauty before his feet!

4 comments:

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

TJ - I am looking forward to seeing how God works in your life this coming year. I see such a spiritual growth in your life and writing that it is exciting! You are such an inspiration to me and I am thankful for your friendship!

Dee said...

Like Beth, I also look forward to watching God work in your life for 2011. I know I have told you before that you are wise for your age, but hey,,,I am old, and we olders tend to repeat ourself.I spent New years Eve trying to stay awake till midnight to give my Frank his last and first kiss of the year. I think I fell asleep about four minutes later. :) Dee

Molly said...

Self focus is definitely something I struggle with daily. Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

I'm so sorry you've had a rough start to the new year... but I love your honesty and transparency. I'm not sure you'll ever know just how encouraging it is.

And can you ever get enough of Phil 4:8? I know I can't!!!

Velvet Over Steel said...

Fantastic post & writing!! Just awesome and so needed for me to read today. I know how you feel (I think) around the holidays. Every year I think/feel that I will find the 'one' right man for me to spend my life with.. by the next Nov. Dec... holidays. So far I have still been alone.. and feel a bit 'self-obsorbed'. However every year I seem to get better & better. This past Dec. I had my sons all home for 2 weeks so I kept very, very busy and got through. In fact, I choose not to go out on New Years. I was very content staying home. That is hugh for a person who used to hate being alone. I think that finding that place.. is the first step in God's process for us.. before being that 'one' into our lives. At least that's what I believe. :-)

Love your open, honest & Real spirit! All those qualities come through every one of your post/writings!! So awesome!!

Have a Wonderful weekend sweetie!!
Hugs,
Coreen