Yesterday, I looked at how God wants us to fast (or do anything) for Him and not for ourselves. I looked at how we can do things that would be looked at as serving God; however, we find ourselves in the trap of considering how we appear to others or even to ourselves. Oh, how I have been battling with thoughts of insecurity lately about what others may be thinking of me! Really, when all is said and done, this is a form of pride because I am focused on me. This is an issue I thought I had conquered long ago; isn't it just like our enemy to come back to a former weakness to build his attack? Today, I found myself praying, "These thoughts are not from Christ! In the Name of Jesus, go away!" It did help clear the junk out of my head and allow me to focus on what God was wanting me to learn. I was praying before reading Zechariah 7 today, I prayed that God would help me with this very struggle. I looked at Zechariah 7 and I found God's answer! Let's look at it together.
I want to focus in particular on verses 8-10 and see what God was asking the Israelites to do. He said that they needed to administer true justice, and show mercy and compassion. He wanted them to keep from oppressing the widows and the fatherless, the foreigner, or the poor. He also added that they were not to plot evil against each other. I really felt God impressing on my heart that when we do these things it takes our focus off ourselves. I experienced that when I was in Zambia and saw the poverty stricken people in the remote villages and was humbled. I saw people that struggled to survive every day. It was overwhelming, but it also took my thoughts away from myself. When we are helping the helpless, we focus on what God wants us to do rather than what people think.
The answer to self-absorption is basically helping others because it forces us to search for the things that breaks God's heart. So, I am doing a self-examination at what experiences I have had in life and how I can use them all the better to help others. There are a lot of hurting people out there, and we all have experienced something in our life that we can share how God brought us through.
Are you looking outside yourself?