Take the focus off ourselves

By Debra Whittington: Notes from the Church Lady

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:1-6
And God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am hath sent me unto you. Exodus 3: 14

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exodus 34:14
I thought and prayed long and hard about what I would write about this week. I got irritated at someone and thought about writing a column about what to do when someone is mean to you. Then I got irritated at someone because their focus is on stuff and accumulating more and more stuff.

Their theory is the person with the most stuff wins. In my own selfish way, I thought if I wrote about these things that maybe someway, somehow, God would get through to them. I was being judge and jury waiting for God to “zap” them for their sinful ways.

All of a sudden, I was asking forgiveness for my attitude towards them. I am still praying for guidance and help to put aside all the hurt inside, but it occurred to me that it isn’t about me, them, or anyone else. We aren’t the center of the universe although there are times that our world is focused exclusively on ourselves. We weren’t put on this earth to accumulate the most stuff. It isn’t about our stuff and us; it’s all about God.

We were created in the likeness of God. Wow! There is a concept that should get our attention. In Genesis 1:26-27 we read, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Not only were we made in the image of God, we were given the awesome responsibility to care for this earth.

There are times that we question how this earth is being taken care of and why we are subjected to various trials. Job questioned the Lord and received this answer:

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?” (Job 38:1-13)

Job was certainly put in his place by God. The same can be said for us when we question God as to why this or that is happening in our lives. That is where faith comes in and we can put self aside and trust in the Lord for everything.

When we take the focus off ourselves and trust in the Lord to guide our paths, it doesn’t necessarily mean our paths will be free of potholes. No, just the opposite is true as right now I am crawling out of a huge pothole on the pathway of life. However, I know if I keep the Lord number one in my life, everything will eventually turn out all right.