My daughter is very vocal when she feels she is not getting her way. At times, she launches into a barrage of whiny requests wearing me thin until I am left clinging to the last vestiges of my resolve like a drowning man to a life raft.
I tend to be a little more passive aggressive in my disputes. I am no less resolute or determined than my daughter, but my plan of attack differs. It seems to be easy to justify my desires in some form or fashion. So many times in this journey I find that justification of my plans or wishes means nullification of Father's.
I discover daily that the more I relinquish the things I hold dear and trust Papa to care for me, the weaker Selfishness becomes. It is a never-ending juxtaposition of my will versus my Father's will. Some days, I succeed in submission, and others I fail miserably. However, I pray that I am learning from each successive experience because the triumphs of Selfishness equate to inability, or even worse, refusal to hear God's voice.
I love I Corinthians 13. It paints a beautiful portrait of our Father. However, it also harshly demonstrates how little like Him I am at most times. Lately, Papa has used I Corinthians 13:4-8 as a remonstrance for me:
4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends.Those words represent the love that Papa has shown to me. They also represent the brand of love I should be showing to others.
By nature, I am a social person. I enjoy interaction with others. I thrive on relationships. However, through experiences of pain I had learned to be satisfied with my family. I had, for the most part, closed myself off from outside relationships. Slowly and with a great deal of prodding, Father is changing that fact.
As He loves me perfectly each day, and I reciprocate that love to Him, I begin to once again view others through His eyes, seeing the beauty and opportunity for shared joy and pain. I no longer see others as projects for my ministry. I view each individual as a potential friend and fellow member of Father's family.
As a result, I grow in the ability to lay aside Selfishness to touch the hearts of those who are hurting and to have my heart touched in return. The particular verse that has resounded like a bass drum in my heart these last few days is I Corinthians 13:5, "It does not insist on its own way." If that is not a shot at selfishness taken with pinpoint accuracy, well, I haven't a clue what is.
So, I have made it my goal to be intentional in relationships with others even to the point of doing things that do not necessarily represent my deepest felt loves in life, even some things that I do not enjoy in the least. All of this is an effort to obliterate, nullify, if you will, Selfishness.
The fact is, the further I remove myself from this Selfishness that plagues me, the closer I draw to my Father's arms. And that, my friend, is where I want to live this journey - safely ensconced in Papa's arms.