Thursday, September 10, 2009

Selfish Ambition

Recently, I've had the privilege to contemplate prayer, what its about and how to listen to God.
I am also noticing and enjoying deeper relationships with people inside and outside of our community of faith.
And personally attempting to maintain my practice of reflecting on the lectionary scriptures for the week.

Here are a couple of excerpts from what many faith communities will be reading this weekend:

Ps 19: 12-14
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from my hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

James 3: 13-18 (actually this is after the scheduled verses, but what I accidently read)
If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and evil of every kind.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows not favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Mark 8:32-35 (about the disciples and Jesus)
They didn't understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant. After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, "What were you discussing out on the road?" But they didn't answer, because they had ben arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and sad, "Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else."

Last night I was praying for a multitude of things and pride kept coming to mind, my own pride for one and comparison, etc. But also how we are riddled with this temptation to puff ourselves up and to me pride and insecurity are so tied together. I see this coming out in the scriptures this week and was confirmed (I believe the Holy Spirit is speaking to me, weird I know), but this is something that we should be aware of, not afraid to deal with and longing to break.

Consider where our health care system could be if many let of selfish ambition... (on both sides)
Consider where our churches could be if we lead and followed with humility...
Consider where our friendships could be if we weren't afraid or insecure...
Consider where our families could be if we worked through peace making and served one another in love...
Consider where our mental and spiritual health could be if we asked God to search us and keep us from unknown and known sinful patterns...

I say all of these things because I play a part in contributing to cycles of pride and insecurity, but know that God wants to break into that and it is possible.

Lets pray for a breaking of selfish ambition in our world, starting with ourselves, moving to those we are closest with and then out from there...

Oh, the possibilities :)

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