The beginning: 11 weeks of the Beth Moore Bible Study: Daniel- This was one of the top ones I have ever done. If you have never done this JUST DO IT! It takes time and committment, but OOOOHHHHH SOOOO GOOOD! It will make your brain work. First half of the study is on the man of Daniel (way much more to him than the lions den), second half is about prophecy, fulfillment, and end times. Second half is hard, but she makes it easier to understand. Ok-enough plug on that, but this is where "My Giving Challenge" started and I didn't even know it.
In week one of this study she challenged us to "give up" something for 7 weeks if we wanted to. I wanted to, but everything seemed to much or too hard. So I didn't. Have felt convicted every week since. And on the 7th week when she congratulated the ones that accomplished this, I felt even worse. The 7 weeks had FLOWN by. I COULD"VE and SHOULD'VE done this, but I chose to be SELFISH.
Fast forward to the 30 day giving Challenge. I read the post, I liked it. I thought my family could surely do something right? But again everything I thought of seemed to hard, to much time, blah, blah, blah.blah. SELFISHNESS! But the funny thing is, I could tell God was wanting me to do something. I kept having this nagging feeling. I really thought I need to post or say something, but what?????
Friday Nov. 6-Week 11 of Beth Moore. Study Guide.... SELFISHNESS vs SACRIFICE........DING, DING, DING. She asked us to read this:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, with-out self control, brutal, not lovers of good, treachous, rash, concieted, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a from of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5
She then said that the root of all these listed above is SELFISHNESS. I was thinking-NO, NOT ALL of those things are because of selfishness. But I am wrong. If you sit and meditiate-ALL of these things in some form or another involve selfishness.
I know this because I have been/done those things. I know that we are not perfect, but we can try, and to be honest, somedays its just TOO HARD. I take the easy way. I would rather be proud (selfish) to say I'm sorry. I would rather be unforgiving (selfish) because forgiving at times makes it seem like what was said or done is letting the other get away with it. I have no self-control (selfish) when it comes to certain things. NONE of which are good. Frankly, I am going to stop there, because I am too embarrassed to say anymore.
Present Day: Have I ever given up/sacrificed something that it "pinches", makes things a little uncomfortable? Step out of my comfort zone so much it pinches? Has it made me sit up and think? NO, NO, NO. I haven't. Sad, but true. Has my family? NO, NO, NO. Have we ever gone to a homeless shelter? Have we ever given more than 100 dollars to something/someone other than our church? Have we ever taken time to go to the nursing home to play a game with an elderly person? Done a mission trip? Volunteered my time at a camp? Delivered meals on wheels? One word: NO
So what can I do? A million different things. Giving has no end. But ALL are going to take effort and sacrifice. Not all HAVE to be BIG things. Remember the saying: A little goes a long way. I firmly believe that, but the first step in that is actually DOING something. A baby just doesn't get up and run. They take a few steps and fall down. Get back up and try again. Then they get braver and take more steps. Before long its easy. They don't even think about it. I want GIVING/SACRIFICING TO BE THAT WAY. I want to get to where I don't even think about it, that I don't think twice about it. In the words of NIKE, I want to "JUST DO IT"
I thank you for letting me share these rambling thoughts. Selfishness comes in all different ways, Some stand out, some are hidden. I'm going to try and be more aware every day of how I act and respond. Bottom line:
I WANT to be a GIVER!
"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindess, humilty, gentleness, and patience" Colossians 3:12