June 13, 2014

Selfishness: A Rant To Myself

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all of the problems and needs in the world?

Hunger. Disease. Death. Evil. Homelessness. War.

It seems to be lurking in every corner. And the number of people with basic needs is just staggering. The problems look too big and I feel too small. But I think doubting that I really make a difference is one of the most poisonous lies I ever believed.

"I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will." - Edward Everett Hale

On the day I pass into eternity and come face-to-face with my Creator and my Savior, I don't want to say, "Yes, I knew about the poverty, disease, hunger ... the orphans ... and I did nothing about it. I picked out movies I wanted to see. I got a new phone, a bigger TV, a faster computer, and that car I always drooled over."

Heartbroken, I would realize how much time and money I spent on myself ... and how little I spent on others. In the face of such tremendous needs in the world, how is it that I can so easily justify buying things for myself? I am selfish.

I don't want to stand before God and have to confess that I was so focused on myself that I ignored the incredible needs of the world he put me in.

Like Hale says, "I can do something ... And by the grace of God, I will."

The fact is, folks, this life is temporary. We don't get to take ANY of it with us when we die. The only "stuff" that matters is what is eternal.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

- James 1:22-27

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