Mark Affleck

I Failed the Selfishness Test

April 1, 2017


It’s true. Looking back today on an earlier time in my faith walk, it is clear to me that I was holding back full expression of my faith.
What I did not know then but can clearly see now is how this was a selfish act of defiance after I had been saved by Christ and his grace for eternity. God used that flashback as a lesson that there are real consequences to real people who are crying out for God when we hold back on putting our faith into action.
An example of this convicting truth comes from one of the most powerful blessings in God’s Kingdom—ENCOURAGEMENT. After God refreshed my memory on how I had failed this selfishness test, I was flooded with specific thoughts of encouragement that follow below.
When our pain is the greatest, God’s grip tightens in our quivering hand. His voice douses our burning angst. His love intercepts every tear.  “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hands.” John 10:28-2
Feeling isolated is a predictable part of God’s plan to show us in the most intimate way possible that he is there and still in control. He is not going anywhere without us. God uses that isolation to test our capacity to lead, our character, and our faith. “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
God’s direction on giving Him our fears immediately is as clear as the water that trickles over velvet-smooth rocks in a mountain stream.  “You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble.” Psalm 59:16
When the storm clouds of life look darkest, God is already preparing a rainbow. “For we live by faith, not sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
The amount of worry we carry around with us is not driven by the stress and problems in our life, or by the number of activities we engage in, or by the job and “things” we have.  Our degree of worry is directly proportional to our nourishment in God’s Word. The more worry we have in our life, the less nourishment we are receiving from God. “This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.” Proverbs 3:8
The bottom line for me is that God encourages us so we can be a blessing to others. My prayer is that these thoughts encourage you and brighten your day so you can, in turn, lift someone else.
Who do you know that needs to be encouraged today? Will you do it for them?

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1 thought on “I Failed the Selfishness Test”

  1. Mark,
    Great thoughts. Reminds me of Proverbs 11:25
    A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

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