All About Me
Today’s scripture selection: Judges 17-21
Key verse: Judges 21:25
“In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
Looking out for one’s own interests is something we can all identify with. In fact, most psychologists I know would say it’s a perfectly healthy thing to do; that in fact it is when healthy “boundaries” get out of whack that people get into trouble. We need to and should have a healthy enough self-esteem that we don’t allow others to take unfair advantage of us.
On the other hand, the Bible is filled with people who took looking out for their own interests to an extreme. For them, it was “all about me” – my way or the highway. And the consequences of such selfish, ego-centric behavior were often grave – not just for the individual but for the entire community.
Such was the case in ancient Israel when they “…had no king” and “everyone did as they saw fit.”
It was one slippery slope down from personal desire to greed; from the worship of the God who lovingly provides to idol worship of the worst kind.
Idolatry can take many forms. But at its core, idol worship is often about trying to manipulate the powers that be so that we “get” ours – whatever it is – we think we deserve. In contrast, God calls us to trust in faith for His daily provision, and be generous to give, even as we have received.
So, do a little healthy self-assessment. Don’t be afraid to be open about your own legitimate needs and desires. But don’t slip into that ancient trap of self-interest gone wild. Don’t make it “all about me.”
When that happens – everyone loses.
Prayer: Lord, help me to consider the needs of others, even as I honestly recognize my own. AMEN.