We Have A Self Problem

“Concerned observers using the diagnostic disciplines of psychology, sociology, economics and theology lay the blame for the deterioration of our public life and the disintegration of our personal lives at the door of the self; we have a self problem and that problem is responsible for everything else that is going wrong.”

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Today is Monday, January 30, 2017. One more day in January.

Quote of the Day

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.” – Bil Keane

Word of the Day

Equivoque – an ambiguous expression; a play on words; pun.

Today is Croissant Day. Who doesn’t love a fresh, warm, buttery croissant roll? I may have to find a Cheddar’s restaurant today.

Church was awesome, yesterday morning. We struggled a bit during practice, but it all came together during the actual worship gathering, and I think the worship music sounded great. The sermon was really good, as well, as our pastor completed his series on Galatians.

C went to a ladies’ gathering after church, while S and I stopped Lee’s Grilled Cheese for lunch. Actually, we called it in and picked it up at the driver thru. Then I played on the Playstation while I ate my sandwich and fries. C took a short nap after she got home, then we finished the evening just relaxing and watching Netflix. We are almost through with season 6 of Criminal Minds.

Tonight, I have band practice in Southlake. Tomorrow, I am taking a PTO day to go to a funeral in Mineral Wells. One of of my good friends from my school days lost his father last week. That family owned the miniature golf course where I had my first actual, paying job. My friend also served as a pall-bearer at my dad’s funeral in 2015. So, I really felt that I should be there for his dad’s service tomorrow.

26/63

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(Back to ESV, for now.)

“Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!” Psalm 68:26

Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. Psalm 74:20

Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. Psalm 17:13-14

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. Psalm 53:1

(From Living the Message)

“America is in conspicuous need of unselfing.” And to think this was written in 1996! Imagine what he would say if he wrote this today. Yes, our society most certainly has “a self problem.” I have frequently suggested that the generation after the “Millennials” should be called the “Selfies.” The problem is, though, that older generations have latched on to that habit, as well.

It’s not that taking pictures of ourselves is necessarily bad. It’s more the thought process and attitude behind it. If you watch some peoples’ social media activity, it is 90% made up of selfies. The real problem is that this self-consciousness bleeds over into everything else in our lives. “Concerned observers using the diagnostic disciplines of psychology, sociology, economics and theology lay the blame for the deterioration of our public life and the disintegration of our personal lives at the door of the self; we have a self problem and that problem is responsible for everything else that is going wrong.”

Again, this was written in 1996.

One of the major things we can do about this is prayer. Just as noted in the last few days’ readings, when we pray, we get out of self. Well, when we pray correctly, that is. But we do. When I pray for people that I know, for people that I don’t really know, for my country, for our leaders, for my church family, for my biological family, it gets me out of my self.

Take note of the words of Jesus in Mark 8:35-36, from The Message: Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?

Father, take me out of myself. I constantly need this. I need this because it’s never permanent. Sure, there are moments in my life, perhaps even hours, when I am totally out of my self and considering others the way Jesus tells us to. But it’s not permanent. As soon as I relax, self comes raging back in and takes front and center stage! Help me to sacrifice self to your ways. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. My yoke is hard; my yoke is complicated. Jesus’s yoke is easy. Help me to step into that easy yoke of Jesus and walk with him in this world, that I might sacrifice self and think more highly of others.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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