The reoccurring theme that has emerged as I repent is self. No matter what it is that I have done by commission or omission, it was done from self-centeredness. Have you noticed that self is like a whiny child, or a teen that thinks he/she knows it all? Or how about people of any age who know better, but “dig their heels in” and say,
“I don’t care, I’m doing this anyway!”
I have been using Priscilla Shirer’s acrostic for P-R-A-Y: Praise, Repent, Ask, Yes. Each morning I praise and thank God for who He is and all He does, has done, and will do out of His endless love. Then I ask forgiveness for what I’ve done that is outside of His love. This leads to asking His help with the petitions of the day; and finally I say yes. Yes to what He wants me to do, who He desires me to be, and to fulfill His plan and His purpose.
What happens in this endless loop called self? We lose sight of our all-loving, all-powerful, and all-knowing source. The only One who can bring solution, is no longer in our consciousness.
How do we escape the self-trap?
Philippians 2:4 instructs; “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others” (ESV).
Proverbs 19:17a; “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord . . ..”
Galatians 5:14; “For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
This is a good course correction. I’m thankful that God loves us so much that He gave us His Word. Scripture is our lifeline! It reveals our heart motive while pointing us in the way that leads to true life.
In just the short time that I’ve been using the P-R-A-Y acrostic, I have come to see more clearly how self can disguise itself. One way it does this is through irritation. I was feeling irritated about a situation and voiced my snarky feelings to my husband. This lovely easy going man responded with
“I wish we hadn’t done this.”
I realized in that moment that self isn’t fulfilled just dragging me down, it’s like, “Misery, your company’s here.”
Feeling mortified at my attitude and words, and the destruction they caused – remorse was quick. Then the thought came,
“You love what you’re doing; the problem is that you weren’t prepared.”
“Oh . . ..”
So I told my husband I was sorry. I shared my realization. We talked briefly about our love of what we were doing and pressed in whole-heartedly – together to complete our tasks. We wound up having a joyous time.
My take away:
Thinking those self-thoughts takes me out of love and peace. So my commitment is to have Scripture to meditate on that direct me in His love and service.
Let me tell you, the joy and peace of this are wonderful!
From my heart to yours,