April 8, 2013

“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts 13:52

I have a tendency of forgetfulness.  I don’t think it is a dementia type of forgetfulness, at least I hope not.  I think it is a preoccupation type of forgetfulness.  I have had to rush from my office on more than one occasion, breaking free from the after-hours cocoon of solitude, to pick up my kids.  I have been lost in conversation to discover that hours have slipped past.  I have been entranced by the promise of the next page and lost afternoons in books.

There is some forgetfulness that is good and there is some that is very bad.  However, there is a forgetfulness that I wish was permanent and that I don’t experience as often as I would like.

I am rarely forgetful about myself.  How about you?

When given a picture that you are in, where do your eyes go? 

If you see someone in new clothes, do you wonder what you would look like in them?

How often do you tickle a conversation back to your life and experience?

Are you insulted when your opinion is not requested or you are not included?

Is it your expectation to receive complimentary comments on your new haircut?

When you see a great relationship, are you inclined to question your own?

Do you feel bad when “how is it going” is not asked?

Do your feelings preoccupy your mind?

Do you want your children to behave well because it reflects upon you and your parenting?

Do the opinions of others weigh heavy upon you?

Do the good estimations of friends cause you to change your behavior?

Are compliments a condition of your service?

We are told that our old self was crucified with Christ and has been set free from sin.  We are no longer bound to our old sinful ways.  Through Christ, we have put off our old selves and those associated practices and put on our new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator.  This on-going renewal is a work of God in our minds.  Our knowledge, how we think, must be renewed after the image of our Creator.  The renewal of our new self is not measured by our level of obedience.  Self-control is not mastery over a rebellious body.  True self-control comes from a mind that does not think about self.   Sin is the manifestation of a self-indulgent mind.  A mind preoccupied with one’s self is a mind that is prone to seek itself first.

The pursuit of today’s self-esteem is the seed of tomorrow’s anguished confession.

A mind that does not think upon itself is a mind that is freed to seek God first and wholly.  The fallen condition of every person enslaved them in a mind that binds them to seeking first the kingdom of self; a mind that is set upon the things of themselves.  Every person has a kingdom of self that resides between their ears.  The ruler of this old kingdom is our old minds.

We do not want to subjugate that ruler.  The old ruler of our mind can mask himself into following religion because in even the most selfless appearing sacrifice his appetite for praise and adoration is still fed.  That old ruler cannot coexist with our new mind that is being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator.  The old ruler of the kingdom of self must be put to death and the kingdom of self must be allowed to fall and crumble away.

The renewal of our minds allows us to forget about ourselves.  There is a forgetfulness that is good.  It is a forgetfulness that comes from a preoccupation of God.  It is a forgetfulness that comes from a mind that is intentionally set upon the things of the Spirit.

A mind that is forgetful of itself is a mind that will experience the most liberating of self-control.  It is a self-control of freedom rather than a self-control of excessive personal discipline.  Self-control is the natural result of a mind that is not thinking about itself.

Effortless self-control comes from a mind that wholly loves God in all ways with a mind that has forgotten itself.

PRAYER: Lord, I am so prone to think upon how things affect me.  Forgive me for falling into the great temptation of contemplation that swirls around my own feelings rather than upon You and You alone.  Lord, teach me how to forget myself; it is impossible for me to do on my own.  I need the work of your Spirit in my life to free me from my thought on myself.  Lord, I want the effortless self-control that comes only from You.  The self-control that brings you all the glory for it is your work.  Father, please continue your work of renewing my mind for your glory and praise.  Amen.


  1. Ouch! Truth hurts but I needed the wake-up call. Thank you. 🙂

  2. This is such a great post; such a great reminder and a needful mirror. Thank you for helping me to recognize where my repentance, and needs to be today, and where the focus ultimately always needs to be. “A mind preoccupied with one’s self is a mind that is prone to seek itself first.” – I want a mind on Him first.

  3. Thank you – I am not my own – but a guest in this body serving my host, God in Christ Jesus – who taught me by serving me – I am in awe, and so humbled when I consider this – You have helped set my day aright in Christ Jesus whom we have to love and know through one another – God bless you more –

  4. Thank you so much. When I see my faults, I concentrate on myself even harder to try to improve. Now I see I must do the opposite – you made it so clear! I have copied your last two paragraphs and pasted it on my desktop, to always bring me back to thinking of Him.

  5. Thanks for the post. It seems that the Trinity of our contemporary landscape and that of the religious and irreligious without Christ is “Me, Myself and I.”

  6. An unselfconsciousness would be great. True freedom. Like Jesus. Free to serve…the other.


  7. Great! Kind of like ‘setting my mind on things above, not on things here below’.
    Thanks, JD

  8. When you you believe you have more control over your life, start your own self id building first into your own stregth, then is the time seeing through other eyes will improve. I think this comes better and with more conviction when you yourself is found again.

  9. spot on!

  10. Amen ~ may our lives shine forth His glory in all that we do ~ leaving behind our pride and ego to do His good and perfect will.

  11. Praise God He saves us from our naval-gazing! 🙂
    Great post!

  12. Thank you for this beautiful post. We live in a “me, me, me” world and I have been so forgetful this week, too. Self-pity, pride, selfishness, egoism… they are all things that take away from a Spirit-filled and God-focused life. Amen to your prayer. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

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