R's Commonplace Book

Tag: selfishness

1. Got the Bible lesson for tonight at the gym printed out with fill-in-the-blanks. People seem to like that. Not my style, but if it works for most, go with it.

2. Need to get the blinds up for my office window. Afternoon sun makes it almost impossible to work.

3. Hard to find stuff after the cleaning lady rearranges my office. I spent no little time looking for books that had been on my desk. Now …

4. Time to pull out another box or two of books from the containers. Getting slow on putting them on the shelves.

5. The reason the old prophet from Bethel told the young man of God he had a message from the Lord was selfish. (See 1 Kings 13.) People make up divine communications because it’s about them.

6. An original verse: God gives his order, waits for man to obey; / In matters of faith the obedient has no say.

7. A Bible verse: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” Lk 6.36.

A.B. Simpson has this main point right:

We need to watch our prayers as well as watch for the answers to our prayers. It requires as much wisdom to pray rightly as it does faith to receive the answers to our prayers. A Christian confided that he had been in years of darkness because God had failed to answer certain of his prayers. As a result, he had been in a state bordering on infidelity. A very few moments were sufficient to convince this friend that his prayers had been entirely unauthorized and that God had never promised to answer such prayers. They were for things which, in the exercise of ordinary wisdom, he should have accomplished himself. The result was deliverance from the cloud of unbelief which was almost wrecking his Christian life. There are some things about which we do not need to pray as much as to take the light which God has already given. Many people are asking God to give them peculiar signs, tokens and supernatural intimations of His will. Our business is to use the light He has given, and then He will give whatever more we need. Watch and pray -Matthew 26:41

Selfishness show up in prayer and protests that God is not answering its justifiable demands requests. If God is not going to give me what I want, why pray? Why have faith? Why be a Christian? What hasn’t God put me at the center of the universe? Why doesn’t he solve all my problems?

There is no place in prayer or in Christ for the selfish saint. God will at least ignore such a one and at most will work to wring out the selfishness. Neither divine proceeding will please the one who insists on retaining one’s own self-interest.

How to curb the desire to run from involvement with others? Step outside of self.

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