Diary of a Prodigal Daughter: The Selfish Truth
by Christine Carter
I am just going to come clean: I can be a selfish person. Not that I spend a lot of money on myself, because I don’t. And it’s not that I am selfish with my time, because I don’t really get a whole lot of me time when I am not fulfilling some kind of obligation or responsibility. Still, I know that I can be self-focused. I may do what I need to do, but often I do it half-heartedly, or try to rush through it, and just get it over with.
But what does God say about this? A few verses come to mind. First, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do all to the glory of God”. I can honestly say that when I am tired and rushing through my responsibilities, I am not being present in the moment, and I am not thinking about God’s glory in those moments either. I am thinking that I am too tired, and I just want to rest.
Another verse that comes to mind is “Do all things without grumbling and complaining”. Yes, this one stings a bit. I know I can do better. Sometimes I do things begrudgingly. I do them, but I am not too happy about it. It is sometimes hard to be joyful. And yet, as a Christian, God desires this for me. He wants me to turn my focus off of my problems and onto the one who knows the answer to those problems before I even ask: Him. That’s right, He is the answer.
Society, magazines, and social media all bombard us with messages telling us that we deserve to do what makes us happy, we shouldn't settle in life, and we should let go of what doesn't serve us. They say very little about serving others or putting others before ourselves.
I spend way too much time on social media soaking up all of these “me messages”. After a while one can forget that the Christian walk is not about me, it’s about Him. And the easiest way to find joy in life is to put Jesus first, then others, and then yourself. This doesn’t mean that you don’t matter, but a funny thing happens when you put Jesus first – He restores you, He fills you with His Holy Spirit, and He gives your life purpose and meaning it wouldn’t have without Him. God knows what is best for His children, and He knows that when we are focused on ourselves, we are rarely happy or satisfied for long.
We always are in search of some new thing or are endlessly striving for fulfillment that will only come from Him. God wants to be first in our lives, because we were created to glorify Him, and when we are doing that, we are fulfilling our purpose. There is a God shaped hole in each of us that can only be filled by Him. He is the source of all good things, and in Him is true fullness of joy. So, when I am feeling run down, and wishing that I could just get through my daily tasks, what I really need is to turn my focus away from myself and to the only one who can restore my strength.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:3 “But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.” – Psalm 3:3 (NIV)
About the Author
Christine Carter is a working mom of a 12-year-old active son Marquis and has been married to her best friend Brent Carter for almost 15 years.
She attends Bethel: the Church at Philadelphia Mills, where she has been attending for almost 12 years.
She is currently a Quality Assurance Specialist at Gate 1 Travel in Fort Washington, PA. She resides in Levittown, PA, where she has lived for most of her life.
She is currently attending John Brown University’s online program where she is working on finishing a Psychology Degree which she began at JBU in NW Arkansas in the 1990s. She expects to graduate in May 2021.
She has always enjoyed writing, and poetry has been her method of choice. She believes that if you have a talent or a gift from God, or a desire to be used for His kingdom, He will make a way. You simply need to be willing.
You can read Christine’s Diary of a Prodigal Daughter column on the 3rd Friday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.