"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Have it your way

Posted by Anne Witton on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 Under: Reflections

Burger King tells us to ‘Have it your way’. Radio Disney promises to give us ‘Your Music, Your Way’. As consumers, we’re constantly fed the message that we come first – that our world revolves around us.

We are so steeped in consumerism and we don’t even realise it. That doesn’t necessarily mean having loads of material possessions or even wanting loads of material possessions. Rather it means the belief that the world revolves around me. That I am the most important person in my life, and if my needs are not being met somebody must be to blame whether that’s the church, society or God. It’s easier to slip into self-pity rather than self-sacrifice. We are often more concerned with how we’ve been hurt and triggered than how we’ve gone out of our way to generously serve others.

Next time we feel hard done by maybe the best thing to do is to direct our hearts towards God and see what his overwhelming love poured out for us and looked like and cost him. That might give us some perspective. And that might make us more concerned to pour ourselves out for him and for others – the widows, the orphans, the marginalised – than to focus on getting all our desires met in the way that we want them met.

The irony is that focusing on ourselves and having all our needs met ‘our way’ doesn’t make us happier as it’s not how we’re designed to live. Our lives are richer, fuller and more glorious when we focus more on pleasing God than on pleasing ourselves. As Jesus himself said, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10: 39) 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

(From ‘Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace by St. Francis of Assisi)

In : Reflections 

Tags: selfishness consumerism 


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