September 13, 2017

Success in Self-Forgetfulness

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 13, 2017

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Colossians 3:9-10

I sometimes forget. I forget to return a phone call. I forget a meeting. I forget to write a thank you note to a friend. Unless my behavior is chronic, most people understand and give me a pass. But of course, I better not forget my wife’s birthday or our wedding anniversary–no good excuses! Encouragingly, there is a good forgetfulness described by C.S. Lewis, “He [a humble person] will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.” When I help another first–I am growing toward my new self in Christ and away from my old self in sin.

Scripture is very clear, if we lie to each other and to ourselves we act like who we were before Christ, even worse, we take on the characteristics of the father of lies and deception–the devil. One of the practices of our old self that needs to be put off from our behavior is self-promotion. If we feel the need to tell someone how smart and capable we are, we can pause and pray before we speak and allow the Spirit to strip away our old self and renew our new self into the image of our Creator. Our new self remembers to put on the humility of Christ and quietly serve others.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh” (Romans 13:14).

In what ways can you chose amnesia to your old selfish desires and choose instead to remember the selfless nature of your new desires in Christ?  Selfless moms do this every day when they defer their own comfort in the moment to comfort their child or sacrifice a material want now, so their son or daughter can benefit from a spiritual foundation later. Loyal friends will forget their old way of manipulating a relationship and instead, remember to listen and support someone in their time of need. Daily renewal in your knowledge of God initiates caring actions for others.

Most of all remind yourself of what the Lord thinks on the issues you face. Forget what a faithless worldview frames as worldly wisdom, and remember how godly wisdom wants to remedy the situation. Replace frantic forcefulness with calm patience and watch the Holy Spirit move hearts and minds to His desired outcomes. Put off your old way of reacting in anger and replace it with responding in a spirit of forgiveness and understanding. Pray for peace in the moment that inaccurate accusations are hurled and ask your heavenly Father to bring clarity through your civil conversation. Self-forgetfulness can lead to successful relational outcomes.

“Live in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first. Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord. Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer” (Romans 12:10-12, The Voice).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father help me remember others first and be forgetful about my selfish desires, in Jesus name, amen.

Application

What desire do I have that threatens my relational health with another? How can I wait on my own desires and defer to another’s desires?

Related Reading

Psalm 133:1; Isaiah 49:15; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:16

Post/Tweet today

Self-forgetfulness can lead to successful relational outcomes. #WisdomHunters #success

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