Have you ever had a time when your own selfishness was revealed to you? I have been reading Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, a study on placing the person and teachings of Jesus in their proper context (it's very good). Today, I was reading a passage trying to explain the profound and sacrificial love of God, as illustrated in one of Jesus's parables. As I was reading, I noted a great quote he uses from Mattá al-Miskin, and then immediately thought, Are my blogs as profound as that? Are they words from God, or is it just me? 

Maybe that doesn't seem like a bad question to ask, but I assure you, the motive was selfish. Why did it have to go back to me at all?! I'm reading about Jesus and his sacrificial love, not my own achievements. To make things worse, my own creative pursuits got me thinking about this album I'm releasing (which I'm tempted to link to, because I want more people to see it), and whether or not those words are profound and meaningful...but that's just more about me!

Talk about a skewed perspective!

A few hours earlier, my wife told me about a friend who gets up early every day to read the bible with his son. She commented on how we need to do stuff like that with our children. In my own head, I thought about how I'm supposed to be the spiritual leader of this family, but I am often too caught up in my own creative pursuits to take the time to invest in these kids. It's so
 backwards! What is more worthy of my time (or who is)? And for whom am I even doing these creative things for? That whole struggle has been years long, but I only have so long with these kids...maybe I've leaned too far in the wrong direction, and I don't need to waste any time at this point.

About a week ago I was listening to this talk by Francis Chan. In it, he condemns our modern "selfie" culture, citing this verse as a description for where self-centeredness leads:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The talk really threw me, because I've been getting coached on how to release this album (there it is again), as I'm supposed to be marketing the crap out of my album and my music; Instagramming and Facebooking all the time, taking videos and pictures of me. The whole thing has me really uncomfortable actually, but I'm doing it anyway because that's the way the world works right now. But am I just contributing to this nonsense? Adding to the noise? Being selfish in a selfish world?

Really, all of this feels like a necessary start to an adjustment in my priorities. Thank God we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, and wise voices around us, to lead in the right direction.