Tag Archive: selfishness


Isn’t it so like us to notice God’s work in our lives and not say anything?

Not give God the glory?  Only think of ourselves??

Selfish Portrait

As I began to read the story of Joseph yesterday morning (see Daily Bible walk: Day 18), I saw clearly the similarity of the sinful and selfish human mind.  How easily we focus on ourselves.

Joseph interpreted the dreams of the King’s servants – fellow prisoners.  When he did, even before it all came to fruition, Joseph asked the cupbearer to remember him…

“Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.”   Genesis 40:14

But what happened?

“Thus it came about on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. He restored the chief cupbearer to his office, and he put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand; but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”   Genesis 40:20-23

The cupbearer just witnessed a miracle!  God allowed Joseph to accurately predict/interpret his and the baker’s dreams.  To the T!  Every detail was correct…but the cupbearer forgot him, focusing only on himself.

As I read that unbelievable story of egocentricity, I felt led to post something about it.  About the selfishness of man; how we so easily place ourselves before God, in place of God.

But as I continued reading, God grabbed my attention…

shoulder tap

“No, that’s not what I want you to learn from this.” He said.

Ok, so I didn’t hear Him audibly… but I couldn’t miss His obvious shoulder tap.

Joseph was forgotten because God closed the mind of the cupbearer.

God needed Joseph to wait.  To be “forgotten” for two years by the cupbearer in order for God to put everything in place; for Joseph to live up to the potential God had for him and to accomplish all God intended for his life.

Joseph was 30 when he entered into the service of Pharaoh.  That’s 13 years since being sold into slavery by his brothers and the Bible doesn’t indicate that God ever spoke to Joseph during that time.  Sure, God poured out His favor and blessing onto Joseph but even so…how much of that time did Joseph feel forgotten by God and question God’s plan for him?

alone

Do you feel alone?  Forgotten?
Do you feel like God doesn’t care, that He’s isn’t around?
He may just be asking you to wait.

His perfect plan for your life isn’t fully in place yet.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 1:6

God's plan

 

Related articles:
What’s the rush?  Waiting and listening.   (mrandmrslopez.wordpress.com)
When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long   (joycemeyer.org)
God’s Plan is Better   (aubreymarieblog.com)
Daily Bible walk: Day 18   (ispygod.net)

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,”    2 Corinthians 4:17-5:2

It is so frustrating how quickly I lose my way in this world…how easily I turn from focusing on God to focusing on myself; how I am being hurt, wronged, or treated unfairly.  How I always have to be “on,” I can’t make a mistake or have a bad day, I have to give of my time or encourage someone who’s down.  I have to do the laundry, clean the house, be a loving wife, a wonderful mother, an example to others, watch what I say…

I walk around with a pleasant smile on my face, but fowl thoughts in my head;

“It’s not fair!”

“What about me?”

“When is it my turn?”

I question and beg, whine and cry, yell out “poor me, why doesn’t someone do something for me?”

Then God smacks me upside the head (this happens so often, I’m sure I have a mark somewhere…) and gently reminds me:

Some ONE has done something for you.

”but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Romans 5:8

Jesus paid an enormous price for my life.  He suffered excruciatingly more than I do, and without a groan from His lips.  In fact, the words that did fall from His lips were unfathomable and astounding;

 “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”   Luke 23:34

And yet I still find myself complaining… I get a hangnail and I complain, for Goodness sake!

I have never said; “Father forgive them,” instead I say; “Father, forget them, focus on me!!”

As believers, we will have unfulfilled longings this side of heaven because we are not made for this world.  We will be wronged, our feelings will be hurt, we will not be treated the way we want.  And because of sin, we are prideful and self-centered creatures who love ourselves more than anyone or anything.  We want to be treated well and are quick to notice, and certain to let people know, when we feel we aren’t.

“Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”   1 Peter 2:11-12

This world is Satan’s playground, his power and dominion of sin reigns all the earth and we experience hardship and heartache because of it.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”   Ephesians 6:12

I deserve Hell, nothing more…

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”   Galatians 2:20

…and praise to the One who took my place.

Praise the One whom I will suffer for here on earth.  I live for Him, not myself …and I will wait patiently for His return.

Of course, still with a bit of groaning and complaining…

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”   Romans 8:23

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