Are there things going on in society that make me cower, that make me want to run and hide? Most certainly.
Is it easy to point fingers and blame others? Absolutely.
Are countless individuals suffering each day? Without a doubt.
Am I concerned for the spiritual condition of those around me . . . and those around the world? Yes.
Then how can I say it’s alright to be self-centred?
Society is vast and I am not what others would call influential but . . .
I can pray.
I can seek to make my little corner of the world a better place.
I can speak words of encouragement and reach out a helping hand.
I can’t make the person next to me do so. I can’t make the world leaders do so. I can’t make you do so. But I can focus on what I do this day.
And I do believe in the ripple effect. If I bless one life, perhaps that one will go on to bless another, and it will go from there.
If I’m busy pointing out other people’s sins, I can merrily forget my own. I believe the scripture that says, “All have sinned.”
That includes me. And don’t I know it?
I believe in an inward transformation, one that only God can accomplish.
I can share what the Scriptures teach.
I can tell you what the Lord has done in my life.
I can pray for you.
But I can’t change you . . . or anyone else.
It’s good to remind myself of Matthew 7:4-5, which says, “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” (ESV).
When it comes to the suffering of others, I can write letters of protest. I can get on a soapbox and stir up an emotional response in those who will listen. I can even go on a Facebook rant.
I may then feel as if I’ve done my part, but have I alleviated any suffering or stemmed the tide of even the smallest injustice?
No, to do that I have to roll up my sleeves and actually get involved in the lives of others.
Will I serve in a local soup kitchen?
Will I offer a kind word to that mentally-challenged individual who walks down my street every day?
Will I shovel my elderly neighbour’s driveway?
While I do believe in the importance of clearly telling others what I believe using words, those words must be backed up by how I live, by who I am.
I know this isn’t the typical take on “self-centred,” but if it comes to mean taking responsibility for one’s own words and actions, I think self-centred is a very good thing to be.