Am I selfish? I think about me and my responsibilities all the time. My prayers are generally self centered also. I believe that is what happens when you go through health issues or a crisis. It takes all your focus just to survive. Quite honestly, there is no shame in it. The Bible says to love oneself and only when I love myself can I know how to love others.
“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Prayer: Jesus, I know I’m self focused right now. I think about my needs all the time. Sometimes going through my health issues or life changing events can make me even more inward focused. I have been in survival mode. But I need to move past survival mode. I need to be more focused on others. Please show me how to make this transition.
God’s Word to us: Do something for someone outside the four walls of your house everyday. Write a card, make a call, pick up flowers for a neighbor or friend, ask a friend or acquaintance, “How can I help you?” Be a helper. Be a servant. Be a friend. With this focus you will get past just meeting your physical needs. But it won’t be too much to overtake you. You still need to pay attention to your physical challenges right now.
My Heart’s Cry was to ask God for help transitioning from a self focused mentality to thinking outside myself. I loved how God led me to little things I can do, while still using the rest of my time to dedicate to my health. This was a baby step.
So let’s go over those verses again:
“Do to others whatever
you would like them to do to you.”
The first one is more along the lines of what do you want others to do for you? So think about that for a minute. What do you like others to do for you? I can think of a few things off the top of my head.
- Check in – I like it when someone just checks in on me. Even if it’s been awhile since I’ve interacted with them, I still think it’s special when someone text messages, writes, calls or stops by to see how I’m doing with no ulterior motive.
- Meet in person – I love it when someone invites me to do something small like to go for a walk with them. lunch or coffee. These days it needs to be something simple that only takes 1 or 2 hours. Again, my health plays a role here.
- Be there for the harder things – I like it when a friend will go to the doctor or medical procedure or treatment with me. Thankfully my friends already do that. I feel loved.
Think about the top three things you enjoy people doing for you. Add these acts of love into your week. In the end, this is probably what others would like me do for them as well.
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
The second scripture: “love your neighbor as yourself” talks more to how I love myself. From reading the verse before it “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This directs us to the kind of love the Bible is talking about when it says to love your neighbor as yourself. Obviously you wouldn’t love your neighbor as you do a Holy God. This word All means worship and is reserved for Him and Him alone.
How do I love myself with my heart, soul and mind? I try to have positive thoughts about myself. I try not to be too hard on myself. I’m working on being graceful even when I fail. I use my mind to plan good things to do or to solve problems I may be encountering. Isn’t that how I should love my neighbor too? I should practice having positive thoughts about them. I shouldn’t be too hard on them and when they fail, I should show grace. I can use my mind to plan good things or solve problems and bless them.
How we treat ourselves is good practice for how to treat others. If you are too hard on yourself that can affect how you can treat others too. Some of our difficulty is giving ourselves grace for where we are in life. Loving and serving others can look differently during the different decades of our lives.
When I was in my 30’s my strengths were quite different then now. Quite honestly, writing blogs in my 30’s would not have been my strength. I was too busy doing “all the things.” They were good things like serving others for God’s glory. But it would have taken a lot of self discipline to sit down and do something quietly. But now in my late forties, I sit a lot. So I think about what I can do that is productive while I’m sitting. Writing a blog on “everyday prayers” is a perfect fit for my age and health.
I hope this blog helps someone. I understand that many of my readers are not in a place where they have been sick or dealing with a crisis. But I hope this speaks to those who want to transition back to normal life. This is a baby step. But it is a step.
I am going to be with my family, away from my computer, for a couple of weeks. My next post will be mid to late August.
Matthew 7:12 NLT
Matthew 22:39 NLT