“It is not only the most difficult thing to know yourself, but the most inconvenient one, too.” H. W. Shaw Mostly because we do everything possible to avoid being known…really known! Being honest with others or ourselves is an unwelcome exercise we practice every time we are in an uncomfortable or awkward space…whether outside our comfort zone alone or facing an unfamiliar group.
There are so many articles written this time of year because the holidays are symptomatically filled with houses full of family fun and activity or houses empty, full of loneliness. Some houses are a combination of both! Misery is an equal opportunity venture.
There is a tried and true recipe for its development. It goes like this…all you have to do is:
Think about yourself.
Talk about yourself.
Use I as often as possible.
Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others.
Listen greedily to what people say about you.
Expect to be appreciated.
Be jealous and envious.
Be sensitive to slights.
Never forgive a criticism.
Trust nobody but yourself.
Insist on consideration and respect.
Demand agreement with your own views on everything.
Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them.
Never forget a service you may have rendered.
Be on the lookout for a good time for yourself.
Shirk your duties if you can.
Do as little a possible for others.
Demand your entitlements
Love yourself supremely.
(From Apples of Gold)
Sound like anyone you know?
Whenever you are selfishly looking out for your own interests, you have only one person working for you…yourself! When you reach out to help a dozen other people with their needs, you have a dozen people working with you. Wm. B. Gwen, Jr.
We have been given the key to a recipe for happiness, joy, and contentment.
Do you want it?
Here it is:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you looking to the interest of others.” Phil. 2: 3-4
Losing our lives in others for their success comes with the promise that we will find the abundant life. Since it is impossible to serve others and be selfish at the same, it requires a willful choice!
The holiday season brings perfect opportunities to create a new, tried and true, recipe…one that will not only benefit others but will profit our families and us. Inviting and accepting new ways to get outside our comfy box and catch a glimpse of others who are needing a “hand up”, a loving touch from the Master, an encouraging word and the hope of our redeeming Savior is the first step. This is the compensatory recipe that can, by choosing, be written on our hearts during this time of year that we set aside to remember the reason God sent His Son to us.
Which will it be…
A recipe for joy and blessing or
A recipe for misery and disaster??
~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America. Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California. My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.