I have a new question to ask myself when deciding if I want to do a particular activity. "Will it contribute to becoming the person that I want to be?"
I plan to spend some time this week studying about the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5. I foolishly agreed to do Sabbath School Superintendant's remarks this Sabbath & I've decided that's the topic I want to discuss. I really really don't do well up front. I talk fast, forget to breath & sometimes come close to fainting. I've been criticized for, get this, my prayer up front (it was too long, because I mentioned all the prayer requests), so you can imagine how anxious I am to pray up front. Last Sabbath the wife of the person who criticized me read something about ignoring destructive criticism.
I guess it really isn't about me, is it? At least it shouldn't be. I really think that if I was truly filled with the Holy Spirit, I wouldn't have any room to worry about what other people thought about me. The more I compare myself to the person I want to be, the more unhappy I am. My sense of self-worth goes down the toilet & I can't be a blessing to others because I'm caught up in my own depression & feelings of worthlessness. I'm beginning to see that this is a trap of the devil & the only way to beat him is to change my focus & ask for more of the Holy Spirit in my life.
I guess what's more important than what I want to be is what does God want me to be? I wish I were the kind of wife who made her own clothes, had a meal schedule planned out at the beginning of the month, kept all her papers in order, had a tidy house AND garage, so that I could keep my car in it. I wish I were a girl who exercised at least 30 minutes every day & did weight training. I wish I were the kind of person who was debt free & wrote letters to & gave gifts to people I loved & supported the ministry & went on mission trips or was a full-time missionary. I wish I were the kind of wife that always had the house clean & ready for company. I wish I never wasted any time but was always productive, because I often tie my self-worth to how much I've accomplished in a day, week, month or year. I wish I was the kind of person that wrote letters to the kids I sponsor in India. I wish I were the kind of person that weeded my tiny little yard & had it manicured nicely, complete with a small garden in the summer. I wish I was more well read & could carry on more intelligent conversations. I wish I never left the house before having my devotions. I wish...I liked me.
I could swear there was a time when I did & it was the times when more of the above descriptions fit me. It's time to shift my focus off of me & toward having more of the Holy Spirit. Then I'd only have to worry about 1 thing: Am I doing what He wants me to be doing? Then nothing else will really matter. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness & self-control will come naturally then & maybe even spread to others.