It’s easy to tell others what to do. I’m pretty sure my brother would say I’m exceptional in the art of telling him what to do and how to do it. However, it’s harder to do what you tell others to do, or to “practice what you preach”. This blog is about the things I’ve been learning, yes, but there are times when you are really tested on how well you know them. Just like in school – you may think you know something, but until you’re tested on it, you don’t really know how much of that knowledge you’ve retained. Thus is the case right now, in this certain time of my life. I think in writing previous posts, it’s been preparing me for this season. On influence, self-centeredness, love for others… I’m having to put that into practice daily.
As I’ve said before, I’m not happy about having to move to PA. I don’t want to leave my beautiful state and everything in it I love. I’m quite content where I am. But I’ve been subconsciously having a bad attitude about it and pretending not to. I finally came to this realization a little over a week ago – I’m behaving just like a child! Since I don’t get what I want, I’m going to pout about it, so my attitude has shown. All I’ve done since I found out we were officially moving was complain. I haven’t had one truly positive thing to say about it. Until a week ago. Yes, I’m going to have to leave everything, but isn’t that an example of what we’re called to do for Christ? Leave all we’ve ever known to follow Him?
So, how does the move tie in with the lessons I’ve supposedly learned in the past? It’s quite simple, when I break it down and look at it clearly and unbiased. Also, this is to be a “disclaimer”, if you will – I’m just as flawed and sinful as everyone else. Just because I have a blog doesn’t mean I’m any better than anyone else. In my blog, I’m not trying to beat anyone down, or criticize, or be mean. I only show the lessons that I’ve learned; not how I’ve learned them. I’m going to burst the bubble of the goody – two – shoes I realize that I might have made myself out to be. So here is an honest view of what I’ve been struggling with.
I have been self – centered beyond what I ever realized. I was focused on how I felt about moving, what I would leave behind, what this meant for me. I completely forgot about everyone else in my family. They’re all dealing with the same things that I am, and I’ve been too self – centered to bear that in mind. Instead of remembering that, I’ve been wallowing in self – pity, moaning about how this is going to affect me. Big deal! I’m not the only person who’s being affected, but I sure have acted like I am. And I’ve blown it up out or proportion in my mind (I am very dramatic and tend to over – exaggerate, as those who know me can tell you). I’ve ignored and neglected those who are going through this move with me, due to my own selfishness.
I’m supposed to be a good example for my brother during this move. I’m supposed to be an encouragement to him, be positive about the whole ordeal, and not complain or gripe about it around him. Can you guess how well I’ve done in that area? If I can’t get over my own issues, how am I going to encourage him through his? I’ve failed miserably at being a good influence on him through this move. For all that I know, I’ve been the prime example of how not to act. How’s that for someone who’s supposed to be encouraging others? Not only am I supposed to be a good influence on my brother, but I’m supposed to be encouraging for my whole family, to show them that I’m accepting this with a cheerful heart and good attitude.
I’m not loving others the way I should be. Instead, I’m hoping that they will “miss me when I leave”, and “notice that I’m gone”. In other words, I want others (mainly my friends) to love me. Haven’t I been talking about loving others with a selfless love? How am I demonstrating that? I’ve been convicted, yes, but this is the true test for me. I though it would be the other way around. I thought that this would be a true test of who will stay with me even though I’m leaving and moving cross – country. I was wrong. This is the test of how I will love others even though I’m leaving. Have I been selfless in my relationships? I told a friend recently, I’ve started to turn my friendships to be more about me. Shame on me, yes, I know, but true. I’m just as sinful and flawed as everyone else. I may know something in my head, but as I heard it put once, from the head to the heart is the longest distance in the world. Actions speak louder than words. I haven’t been living what I’ve been learning. I haven’t been loving others the way that I wish that they would love me. How can I expect something of someone else when I haven’t demonstrated it myself?
Most of all, I haven’t been putting Christ first. I have put my own worries at the top of my concerns, and have neglected my relationship with Him. I don’t have any excuse. He should be first in my life, my priorities, my thoughts, my heart, my words, my actions… and I have crowded Him out by my own struggles. This is a hard time for me right now, this is when I really need a hand to hold, someone to remind me that they’re there for me. Jesus has been there for me this whole time, and I’ve ignored Him.
So there you have it. Those are my problems, the lessons that I’m having to live out. This wasn’t meant to be a complaint or an appeal for attention. This was merely to show you that I’m no different than anyone else, that I have a sinful nature, too. I realize that a lot of my posts can be “preachy”, and I want to try to dash that view. I’m just another sinful human being who’s sharing my lessons with whoever takes the time to read and (hopefully) learn from them. Thank you so much for the prayers, the comments, and the encouragement.