Lessons in Selfishness and Forgiveness

Bob Mayo, Stonepoint Member

I’ve been doing some thinking about the sin of selfishness or self-centeredness lately. I know for myself it is a sin that I am well aware I have and struggle with for years. We all struggle with selfishness to some degree. Some people like me excel in it. I can easily blame my problems on others and blame them for my circumstances. What we don’t see is how many of our problems in life are caused by our own self-centeredness.

I’ve been going through re:generation at Stonepoint and I recently came a lesson called  “Facing Self-centeredness.” In that lesson there was a question asked: “When things don’t go your way, do you blame others, get bitter, angry or hold onto hurt?” When I read that, all I could say was “wow, that’s me.” Over the years here at the ministry I work with, I have transferred to a few different departments. Most of the time I was asked by leadership to pray and consider changing departments. I always told the leaders that I would change if that’s what the ministry wanted. But there was one time that I was just straight out told that I was being transferred. No discussion, no explanation. I was just transferred. In my selfishness, I really didn’t take this too well. My mind started thinking things like, they just didn’t want or need me here any more and I was just being pushed into a corner. For months, I was angry and held a grudge against our leaders who were involved.

This went on for several months until I realized something. Whether I had a right to be angry or not wasn’t the real issue. The main issue is forgiveness. Do you know it says in the Bible that when we don’t forgive others that God doesn’t forgive us? When I really started thinking about that I got scared. Think about it. God forgave us!!!! Don’t just skip over those words. God gave His only Son on the cross who cried: “Father, forgive them;  for they do not know what they are doing.” The God of the universe forgave!!! And here I sit, being angry and bitter at others for my circumstances. That very day, I got with God in prayer and told Him I forgive my leaders for my perceived mistreatment no matter how I feel. For the first time since it started several months ago, I had peace. I also prayed that God would fill me with His Spirit and allow me to love and pray for any and all leaders involved.

Trust me, this is not easy. Especially when you have a life long habit of holding grudges and blaming others for your problems. But how can we live at peace with our brothers and sisters if we don’t forgive each other. God can take the smallest, humblest act of forgiveness and change our lives and attitudes whether our circumstances change or not.

I don’t mean this to be an advertisement for re:gen on Monday nights at Stonepoint, but I really don’t think if I hadn’t taken the step I did three weeks ago to attend class that night, I would be writing this post now. I would also still be angry and holding grudges. I pray that have the grace and strength to continue. I am not even into the heart of the class yet and to leave now, I would lose any gain I have made. Please keep me and my fellow classmates in your prayers. Our God is a miracle working, life-changing God. We need to learn to trust him with every part of our lives. May He give us the grace. God bless you, my friends.

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