4 factors: 1. Level of Selfishness. 2. Level of Brokenness. 3. Level of Maturity. 4. Choice/Free Will.
Some people are just selfish and most are broken in some way. Our brokenness can be used as a stumbling block and/or excuse to do what you want for yourself to get your own way because it is all about you. Or. There is a better way. The brokenness can yield understanding and depth of character if one is humble enough and mature enough to learn the lesson and grow from it and grow close to God who can help.
The first group of people will never change until they decide to. And if we need to protect ourselves or children from them, then we must. The second group of people are the most beautiful and intriguing people in the world. ❤
When someone comes up to you that has been a close friend for years and tells you to take a flying leap because they feel their life is better without you (of course they word it nicer), do yourself a favor and reply “Good call”. Turn around. Walk away. Thank God He saved you from getting even closer before they decided to throw you away like rubbish. I am tired of people thinking their feelings are the only important ones, to heck with anyone who fell for it and loved them and genuinely wanted to help. As if life isn’t hard enough. Yes, they will leave a hole. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, it teaches a lesson on trust. But thank God He is our loving Father and causes them to leave you alone to rebuild and restore. Restoration is the only option. Love of who remains is the only driving force to get you through the heartache. But time lessens this pain and we that remain grow closer. It is for the best to know sooner than later. I am leaning more on family and Jesus and a few close friends who are family and I am going to go on so slowly anywhere else ever. Real life has enough pain in it to add to it by caring for those who admit they are happier without you, could care less if you exist, do not even want to keep in touch. I am happy to honor their wishes but it would maybe hurt a little less if they at least felt guilty or missed us or something. Narcissists suck. They use you and throw you away. And if that is not the case, there would be no reason to throw you away. They suck. They hurt everyone and wonder why they have trouble sleeping at night. Wake up, people. If you are friends with someone who discloses little and is not open with you, withdraw before you get too close. Their heart is weighing whether your friendship is worth their while or if they get more by moving on and being rid of you. Save yourself heartache and move on, draw close to the Lord and He will heal you. Draw near to God and He always draws near to you. Love on your family, always a good investment. Never ignore those pouring love into you. That shows where their heart is.
For those happy and content to foster an addiction willingly that harms your mate, selfishness knows no bounds but there is hope. Choosing to continue a harmful behavior not only hurts the self but also hurts any who love that self, including God. For example, someone might choose to gamble, which seems harmless in small amounts but when taken to a selfish greedy level, there isn’t money for needed things for the family of that person. People stop trusting and start hurting. This robust selfishness is incredibly hateful to those surrounding that person. Another example, there is nothing wrong with drinking wine or beer but when drinking and getting drunk takes that selfish priority over parental duties or work, everyone starts to suffer. Another example, when someone gratifies themselves by watching touched up and plastic people and their spouse never is gratified, trust is broken and the relationship suffers. All these selfish behaviors are choices the selfish person makes again and again. At any point in time, these people can make a different choice. Just one good choice can begin a healthy habit. One can choose to believe that God provides and loves and helps. One can choose to make a different choice and trust their spouse with loving them better than someone they can’t touch. One can choose to trust God with providing finances rather than trying to win it in a bet. One can decide to not get drunk one day and trust that God will reward that behavior with a good day with the family. One can. Selfishness is not an incurable disease. The incredible power of free will and God’s help can change behaviors. God is bigger than feeling of insecurity or neglect. God is bigger than powers of evil that wish you lifeless inside and alone. God is bigger than ugly and mean. These things are no match for God, as long as you let Him work in your life. It is each person’s choice.
There are times when it is not only okay to say “no” but very beneficial. Christ followers are notoriously guilted into doing more than our fair share because other people are disobedient. Those who do are asked to do more. Those that disobediently do not do get away with it. That seems to be the way. Ya know, it is very interesting to study human nature. It is alarmingly selfish when left to its own resources. No one really wants to do all the work. If given a choice, everyone would rather just do what they enjoy and never bother with making trips out to the church to clean or decorate or paint or whatever. Who enjoys spending their precious weekend doing more work for the church building? Who really wants to do lesson plans for Sunday School when they would rather be lazing about or playing or relaxing? Seriously, those who never volunteer for helping out at church are really very selfish because everyone is “busy” and yet some people find time to do most everything while they opt for selfishness disguised as good reasons/excuses. But I digress. Those of you doing more than your share while other laze about squandering service opportunities for the Lord, it is very acceptable and healthy to say “no” to further requests for assistance. When you give more than what God has gifted you for, you burn out. More than that, you can even hinder others from the opportunity to step up to the plate and do their fair share. Also, you lose your priorities. God never intended for a few to do all the work. God speaks against slothfulness and selfishness of any kind in the Bible. It was His intention for everyone to pitch in with what they are gifted in. That is why He made so many with different gifts. He wants us to use them for His glory and kingdom. We are working for the Lord and not for man because it is the Lord Christ we are serving. We need to do what He has gifted us to do and that fulfills the tithing requirement. As long as you remain in balance, you may do more as an offering in addition, but bear in mind you have spouses and family also or friends or random people in your path to minister to. If you spend all of you, however noble it seems, but you neglect your care or family, you may not have left what you need for the extras that always come our way. It is not storing up treasures, it is good stewardship of energy. Relax a little and be available now and then. Only then can God really impact anyone around you through you. Service is for God and not man’s praise. Once we get to heaven, we will have greater reward than we can imagine.
Some silliness just came to my attention in my church. There was a dispute between the pastor and the music director. Both are very good at their jobs, respectively. However, they are unable to agree about something in particular. What that is is of no importance. I am reminded, however, of the fragility of human beings and how damaging silly behavior is when our pride gets in there and fights harder than we allow God’s Spirit to fight for us. If we just get out of the way, God will work beautiful “magic”. If we allow our silly selves to guide us and our tongues, however, bad things happen, like our music director leaving. This should not be!! How do 2 men of mature faith allow pride to divide them? Both are strong and mean well. I long to scream, “What is wrong with you two? Why on earth do you think any of what you do is all about you? It is about God’s kingdom expansion and NOT YOU! Get over it!!” Will I do that? Time will tell, but what needs to be said to the kingdom at large- get over yourself. God’s church is absolutely not, under any circumstances, for you, no matter who you are. It is for Him. If you can’t handle that, get out of it so the church can grow!!!!
Life is not about what you have or use or who you talk to or what you say. In fact, it really isn’t about you at all. Life is about the Giver of life. You would not be here if it were not His choice that you are. You would have nothing at all except that He chose to bless you. You would not be able to do anything without His permission. All the authority that He has and still He chooses that you be where you are, have what you have, and be able to do what you can. God gave you all that, because He is more concerned with loving and showing generosity to those He created rather than basking in His greatness. It seems to me that is our main job. This is why worship is such an integral part of our day… or should be.