I used to be a horrible person. I had honor in one sense – I was always honest – but I was addicted to pornography, swore often, hated myself and disliked most of the people I knew, had serious anger issues, and leaned on people for pity until they distanced themselves from me. Then I would, of course, blame them and myself for things falling apart. I was miserable the vast majority of the time. I wallowed in it until I reeked of desperation, then I wallowed some more.
God’s changed that. I still get down on myself when I’m very stressed, but these times are rarer now and I bounce back often in a matter of minutes rather than weeks. Everything else has either gone away completely or gotten much, much better.
I’d like to think that I’ve improved, but the moment I start thinking that is the moment where I prove I haven’t, for that statement shows that my life is about me once again. When I was miserable, it was because I thought constantly, incessantly of myself and my woes. I could break out of it long enough to have some time with my friends or compartmentalize enough to do my job well, but the thoughts were always in the back of my mind. I tried to do right by others (often failing), but nearly everything I did was at least in part for me.
One thing I’ve noticed since God’s gotten hold of me is that less of my life is about me. When I’m stressed, it’s more about me. When I’m not, I’m free to think of others.
The less of me there is in my head, the more peace I have.
And isn’t that the thing we’re all striving so hard to find? Jesus had it right when He told us to love others as ourselves. When we’re focused on them and what they need, we aren’t worrying about our own needs. We should, of course, still make sure that we’re tending to our own needs, but the actual fulfillment of those needs is on God if we’re serving Him. We don’t have to worry about it; in fact, worrying about it shows a lack of faith in Him and is thus a sin.
I want to challenge you to spend an entire hour today not worried about what you want or need, but busying yourself fulfilling the needs of others. Be selfless for one hour today. Then, see how you feel at the end of that hour. Do you feel better than you did, or at least, do you feel less worried about the problems in your own life?
It is our selfishness that brings unrest. The more of God you have, the less worrying you’ll do about yourself.