Elul 22 Selfishness is asking others to live the way you want to live Selfishness is basically being more concerned with your own profit or pleasure than someone else’s. Selfish people rarely see the need to say I am sorry...they justify their behavior and expect you to understand and work around their demanding schedule. They expect you to constantly put yourself in their shoes and can use the “martyr card” for sympathy and attention. They often feign listening to your problems and concerns in the relationship but then they go ahead and do exactly what they have been doing without a second thought. The fact that you have a problem is “your problem”--not theirs--and they expect you to unilaterally solve it. They aren’t interested in acknowledging their issues nor in accountability for their selfish behavior. They often give you the silent treatment rather than being able to discuss difficult conversations in a mature manner. They often hope this will cause you to lose interest in your point and eventually just acquiesce to their point. They don’t listen to your point except to be able to defend their own and plan a rebuttal. They may go to counseling but only to “help you.” Selfish partners will take advantage of good natured people. They isolate in their activities, hobbies or work and expect you to be understanding. They begin to take you for granted and aren’t thankful for all you do to keep the relationship alive. They often justify why they can’t “currently” give as much as you. They expect you to be “flexible’ but their schedules are pretty rigid. I think the same thing can happen in our relationship with God. We can become self-absorbed with our issues and our prayer life becomes more of a laundry list of requests than a give and take relationship. We can turn God into a genie who meets our needs/wants while we sit back and complain when our prayers aren’t answered in our timing. I remember going to a singles Valentine’s party and a girl announced that she had told God the night before she was ready to get married and was expecting to meet “the guy” that night! Every day of this month the articles are probably way more for my benefit than yours...I am learning so much about myself and today is no exception. I have been single a long time and so I have not had to order my life around someone else...this creates a unique perspective that has caused me to have relational problems. How are you managing the tendency to put your needs/wants above your friends and family? How are you practicing empathy with others? Can you think of ways to improve your listening skills? Are you willing to make changes to accommodate someone else? Are you giving their needs/wants equal or more attention than your own while maintaining appropriate self-care?? How can you express more gratitude for things people do to make your life easier/better? In your relationship with God are you having two-way conversations? Are you getting in the Word daily to “hear His voice?” Do you spend time in prayer without asking for anything? How many blessings do you say thank you for each day?
Follow the season of Teshuvah during this Month of Elul with Guest blogger Denise Dee Lytle Gibbs who originally posted these blogs on her Facebook page Fall Feast Prayer Initiative.