Navigating the Valley

by: Jennifer Craine



April 22, 2020

Have you ever looked hard at yourself and considered if these words fit or apply to you?

Narcissistic - having an excessive interest in oneself, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, need for admiration, and lack of empathy

Self-centered - concerned solely with one's own desires, needs, or interests

Selfish - concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

It seems more and more in today’s society people are only concerned with themselves and what’s best for them with complete disregard to others. Sometimes even concerned so much with self it’s at the cost or expense of someone else.

For example this covid situation and how numerous people are responding. They are hoarding mass amounts of products for themselves leaving others with nothing. Then look at the numerous comments generated over the shelter in place order vs opening up the economy. Many of these comments are just ugly, nasty, and completely uncalled for attacks against the decisions that various leaders are trying to make in the best interest of everyone. This is a huge current example of people being interested in only what’s best for themselves.

Some other close to home examples...

Do you ever call or text to just check on your family/friends and see how they are doing or if they need anything?

Or do you generally only call or text them when you need something from them?

If someone calls or texts checking on you, if you reply at all, how do you reply?

Do you reply all about you and then end the conversation?

Do you thank the person and appreciate them for thinking of you?

Do you care enough about them to take the extra step and ask them how they are doing?

If someone asks you a favor, do you just ignore it or maybe conveniently forget about it, or do you happily and lovingly sacrifice your time to help them?

It’s sad to say but from my perspective, probably more times than not, it appears these self centered tendencies are being seen. They generally seem to be more applicable to those of my generation and younger. Which causes me to wonder is this yet just another sign of society falling away from God. For this is definitely not His will! His word clearly states...

“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians‬ ‭2:3-4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” I John‬ ‭3:16-18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John‬ ‭15:12-13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ””. Luke‬ ‭10:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Brothers and sisters, we are called to be the light in this dark world. We are to love and sacrifice just like Jesus. If Jesus just walked this earth concerned about Himself, we would all still be going to hell.

Friends, if any of this applies to you in the slightest, it’s not too late to seek God and ask Him for a heart transplant. Admit your flaws and short comings, seek forgiveness, then with God’s help, work to change. Tear down the walls and surrender to Him and let Him use the Holy Spirit to work in your life and make you more like Himself. Ask Him to fill you with the gift of the spirit of love, so that you can love others as He does.