Self-serve…this is an issue for me...a struggle...a stumbling block. I desire to serve God and allow Him to use me. But...and that is a BIG but...there are those little things that get in the way. You know what I am talking about. Those little details that Satan knows are trigger points for you. You know - the things that distract you from all that God wants you to be focused on. It's kind of like the self-serve yogurt stores when you are trying to eat healthy. They are everywhere and they are a distraction! Listen, before I continue, let me say - I realize we are all flawed. I am a mess. I get it. But, I am talking about when we gather up our imperfections and pursue God - Satan is sure to suit up in full pads and start playing defense.
When I say self-serve is an issue for me - I mean self-serving people challenge me. I am not always sure what to do with them. Matter of fact, I just find the "it's all about me" attitude appalling. They cause me to stumble. I struggle. I want to love everyone unconditionally. I want to love with God's love. I want to see them through God's eyes. But that ugly self-serving attitude produces a reaction in me. It causes me to experience an emotional response. God tells us in Ephesians 4:26-27 that there is nothing wrong with anger or frustration. It is okay to experience that. But, the problem comes when we allow that emotion to cause us to sin. So, if we think unloving thoughts or react with harsh words - yep, we have allowed that emotion to get us in trouble.
“In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27
The self-serve attitude of another is a joy stealer for me. In the "Energy Bus", Jon Gordon talks about energy vampires. They just zap the life right out of you. When someone has that self-serve attitude it screams at me "You don't matter to me". For me, it is personal. It is hurtful. What is that saying we have all heard? Hurt people - hurt people. Oh, that is so true. I would guess that if you are self-focused and self-serving there are some heartache and some struggles in your past that are causing you to put so much emphasis on protecting and promoting yourself. Those are hurts that need to be dealt with so you can love others and be loved in return.
Nowadays it seems that we encounter self-servers just about everywhere. It has become an epidemic. They are in our inner circle, our families and our work environment. Since we are on this journey together to live an abundant life, let's grab a self-serve yogurt and ask God to show us how to look beyond that self-serve attitude and see God's creation. I recently heard Bishop T.D. Jakes speak on an Oprah Life Class. This is not something I normally watch and don’t agree with Oprah’s beliefs. However, I found myself mesmerized by some of the things the Bishop was saying. The show was about “fixing families” and it was quite good. But one thing he said is that there are Ten Gallon People out there. Those ten gallon people have a lot of love to give. Yet, they find themselves trying to have a relationship with a Pint Size Person. Due to their past, heartaches and struggles, the pint size person just simply doesn’t have that much to give. Their pint size of love is their best and all they have to offer. But, if we are Ten Gallon People we think, “Is that it? Is that all you’ve got?” Does that hit you the way it hit me? God used that episode of that show to help me understand that just like we all have different love languages – we all have different capacities for love. Isn’t that interesting?
Love Self-Servers with God's Love
Let's prayerfully seek to love those self-servers in spite of themselves – and even if they don’t love us back with the same depth of love. They are broken and need God's help to put them back together. Let's make sure we don't have any self-serving issues going on in our own hearts. If we do, we can lay them at the feet of Jesus today.
So friends, I ask you- what causes you to stumble? What challenges you? What are Satan's trigger points for you? How can we break through and get past him today? Just like our Self-Serve Yogurt toppings would be different – so are our struggles. Share with me! I need to hear from you.