Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Just Thinking: Me First
Here I am again, lecturing from the soapbox.
For those of you too young to understand "getting up on your soapbox," it just means that something sets you on fire enough to speak out. Way back in the olden days, some soap came shipped in wooden boxes--like orange crates, but sturdier. Oh wait--you probably don't remember orange crates either--but you get the picture. Enterprising orators grabbed the soap boxes and climbed up on them to give them the ability to broadcast their voices to listeners.
Too many folks in this world think, consciously or unconsciously, "me first." We are born one hundred percent selfish--maybe that's the Adam Nature you hear about. When a baby is hungry, he demands to be fed. Colicky--no way she's going to keep silent about her discomfort. Wet or stinky or tired, they'll let you know they're unhappy about their situation.
And that's a good thing, really, because there's no other way they can get what they need. They can't get food, change their clothes, or know the hurt in their tummy will subside if they wait awhile. They learn from us how to smile through their pain and take care of their own needs. In babies, it's cute or at least understood.
Oh, but then we become adults. We still indulge our hungers, seeking to fill those empty places within ourselves with things that don't satisfy for long. There's a God-shaped hole in us that nothing but God can fill, for instance. Not drugs, alcohol, toys, binge eating, sex, nor any person is able to fill that hole. Those things can make the hole less painful, but only God can satisfy that hunger.
We often do one other thing that proves that we still need to mature. How many times do you put your own wants above your responsibilities? If you have a debt, paying that debt comes before a vacation (no matter how desperately you think you need it), new earrings (even if they only cost $5), a tattoo (but it's in style), or clothes (mine are so 90s). Any indulgence you put before a debt is sin.
Let me repeat that: Any indulgence you put before what you owe someone else is a sin. It says for all the world to hear and see, "I'm still a child wanting my own way."
Grow up, kids. It's time.