We started housing some evacuees from the coast in our building- and in the process also began more intensely walking with others who are in recovery. This new challenge has highlighted some spiritual garbage in me that has always been there - but is now just more apparent.
My selfishness makes itself evident in the ways I minister to others when I try to find easier and quicker ways to help people - desperately wanting their problem or struggle to be resolved without too much personal cost to me. Secretly I don't want their struggle to be too big a burden for me.
I know . . . that attitude really sucks. But I think it is what is often lurking around backstage and subtly influencing me.
The reality is that I can neither be the savior for someone else, nor should I hope bandaids can be a substitute for discipleship in community. Being in community does impose itself on "personal" space - and may call into question whether there is anything really like "personal" space in Christ's way.
If I think about it, not only do I not want ministry to become inconvenient, I don't like it to be without obvious "progress." Sometimes what makes another person's burdern something I don't want to share is that it can't be "solved." So I end up treating persistent struggles as temporary ones - hoping in vain that without too much effort it will go away.
So I really do have a selfish attitude. Somehow, by God's grace, I also have a true desire for ministry - to see God's working and participate in it. I am a contradiction: wanting to administer God's grace into the lives of others (in my regenerate self) and being selfishly concerned with how much of me that process involves (in my sinful self).
A little more death comes creeping in.