Idol of Self

Spennyelf absorbed reads the Bible from a purely individualistic view forgetting the eternal, global view. It forgets the higher purpose.

I recently realized that I tend to read the Bible from a certain perspective. Even though I am a teacher at heart I read the Bible from the perspective ‘how can I teach this’ or ‘who needs this’.

 

That sounds very unselfish doesn’t it? Sounds like my motives are for the greater good.

But are my motives really unselfish?

 

Maybe it’s not an argument of selfish or unselfish but of glory of self versus glory of God. I love the Bible. No kidding. I get all giddy and joyful when I read it or listen to it on MP3. Yes, I am a nerd. I love to study it. I love to get fresh revelation. The Bible is living and active. So a verse read 10 years ago can have new meaning today. It’s so cool.

I have to watch my motives because they could be driven by the idol of self. It’s that part of  all of us that enjoys the accolades, the glory, the ‘wow, you know a lot’.

If I never heard another compliment or shared a revelation or scripture would I still study it with such conviction?

That goes for anything in our lives. Many people have a calling or a gift or talent that brings them much fame and admiration among believers. But would they still do it if they never got another “atta boy/atta girl”?

The apostle Paul was so thrilled when he was put under house arrest. When he asked everyone to pray for him he asked for boldness and that the Good News would be spread to the Romans.

What if fear of failure was the other side of the idol of self coin?

That is the other thing that keep people from being effective. The ones that don’t do anything because ‘what if I fail’, ‘what if someone says something bad to me’?

The focus is still on self and not God. Idol of Self. It keeps all those gifts, talents, teaching, preaching, love, testimony, etc. from being used because we might fail.

Ask God to show you your inner motives.

What motivates me to serve the kingdom of God?

If I never received any glory from it would I still do it?

Am I willing to try and face the possibility of it not going the way I want but still see God glorified in it?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, reveal my motives behind my actions for your Kingdom. If there is anything not pleasing to you I repent of those behaviors. Show me your truth and love for me. Show me your way. Thank you for loving me and using me. Amen. 

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The Cracked Pot

potSometimes I can be so hard on myself. I seem to spend too much time meditating on any wrong thing I ever did or ever thought. I think of all the skills I don’t have. I dwell on how I am not as good as I wish I was.

I finally realized that those thoughts are not from God. The enemy condemns. God convicts. His conviction leads to a repentant heart fully trusting in Him. Condemnation leads to loneliness alienating us from God and people who love us; and causes us to run from God rather than to Him.

Here is a story I have heard which explains how we can feel like we have let down God but what may be our weakness God uses in His strength.

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfections, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work and you don’t get full value for your efforts,” the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it hadleaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.” Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. So as we seek ways to minister together and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.

Next time you start feeling useless, down, like nothing you do is right…remember that we are all cracked pots.

New International Version (©1984)
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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