These are all things that should describe my life. That do describe my life to one extent or another, but not the way they should.
I've been ingesting a lot of non-fiction lately. Most in the form of audio books so I'm not sure it could be considered "reading". Not really self help, but not exactly Bible study commentaries either. Books about spiritual topics, no doubt, but more of a "How to live well" theme based heavily in Biblical principle.
My currently title of choice is Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Its along similar lines of Radical by David Platt. The bottom line is that the church in America has gone off course. We - the church - don't understand what it means to be followers of Christ.
When asked for a bare bones gospel - Jesus was able to reduce it all to 2 sentences:
1) Love God.
2) Love your neighbor.
Where in that does it say "love yourself?" Why are we, as a culture, so caught up in ourselves? I'm not saying we should insult or hate ourselves. No where in scripture does Jesus put Himself down or encourage others to do likewise.
I'm just starting to realize that maybe starting with trying to love ourselves isn't the best tactic. I know that's not a popular idea in the age of everyone borrowing the airlines "put on your own masked before helping others" line. Somehow we made the analogy that that pricey nail polish = oxygen for our souls.
For those who don't believe, loving God isn't exactly applicable. (Although one of the points Chan makes is that God appreciates those who don't pretend to believe far more than those of us who give Him lip service but don't follow through with our actions.)
Loving our neighbor, however, is universal.
Do you think Mother Teresa had "fat" days? Do you think she looked in the mirror and did daily affirmations so that the size of her thighs didn't bother her?
What about Florence Nightingale? How often do you think she worried about getting a mani/pedi? Or struggled to fit into her skinny jeans?
Or if Lottie Moon ever broke down macronutrients
Sure those are ridiculous examples. Because we, as a nation/generation are ridiculous. Sure Ms. Moon weighed 50 pounds as an adult woman, but not because of any diet plan. Unable to bear the suffering of others, she gave away her money/rations so that others might be have the nutrition they needed.
How great would I feel about myself if at the end of the day I know I've given all I've had to help others? Wouldn't my pant size start to matter less and less, as I poured myself into the lives of others, making sure to meet their needs?
In light of a world full of starving people my "McDonalds vs Brown Bag" debate seems trivial. Sinful even.
People are dying every day. The battles of eating disorders and suicide plague our nation while starvation and poverty over take others. All are tragic. All are unacceptable.
I don't have the power to change the world, but I can change someone's world.
But first, I have to stop this obession that causes me to focus on myself.
Lord forgive me! Turn my focus from myself and toward you. Help me to love you with the depths of my heart and to share that love with those around me hurting. Amen.