Today was a good day overall. I’m just not completely understanding my attitudes and lack of patience with the kids and Becky from time to time.
I think it’s all about inner selfishness.
On LDS.org, I searched for “selfishness” and found a talk by Elder James E. Faust titled, “What’s In It For Me?” What a fitting title, since this is a feeling I’ve had at work for quite some time…
Taking up one’s cross and following the Savior means overcoming selfishness; it is a commitment to serve others.
Surely, one of the great schoolmasters for overcoming selfishness is parenthood.
Elder William R. Bradford once said: “Of all influences that cause men to choose wrong, selfishness is undoubtedly the strongest. Where there is selfishness, the Spirit of the Lord is absent. Talents go unshared, the needs of the poor unfulfilled, the weak unstrengthened, the ignorant untaught, and the lost unrecovered.” 7
“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” Matt. 10:39
One of life’s paradoxes is that a person who approaches everything with a what’s-in-it-for-me attitude may acquire money, property, and land, but in the end will lose the fulfillment and the happiness that a person enjoys who shares his talents and gifts generously with others.
As I read this article, it reminded me a lot of the Beware of Pride talk by President Benson. Pride and selfishness are synonyms. Having the “what’s in it for me” attitude is a direct form of pride and deceit.
It’s not new news to remember what happened to the Nephites every time they fell in to the “pride cycle”:
“Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction.” (Moro. 8:27.)
“Beware of pride, lest ye become as the Nephites of old.” (D&C 38:39.)
The central feature of pride is enmity—enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.” It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.
Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)
Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, stiff-neckedness, unrepentant, puffed up, easily offended, and sign seekers.
This last sentence sticks out to me, especially the phrase about being “easily offended”, in my case, easily annoyed.
I feel I can do so much better in this area. I feel my kids need me to have the patience and love that will help them overcome their challenges in this life. I feel Becky is such a blessing in my life – I can’t let her down by being two different people or by being so easy to be annoyed that it’s not even fun to talk with me or be around me.
There’s the CORE addiction that I have – comparing myself to others, thinking I’m better than others, both forms of PRIDE!
17 For behold, the Lord had blessed them so long with the ariches of the world that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, nor to bloodshed; therefore they began to set their hearts upon their riches; yea, they began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another; therefore they began to commit bsecret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain. (Hel. 6:17)
“Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)
Some prideful people are not so concerned as to whether their wages meet their needs as they are that their wages are more than someone else’s. Their reward is being a cut above the rest. This is the enmity of pride.
This last sentence is a specific phrase I’ve felt too. Comparing what I make to what some of my colleagues make. Thinking that I’m worth more or that I do more, instead of being happy with what the Lord has blessed me with.
I don’t want my study to always be about ripping myself down, but I feel good reflection and assessment of where I am and where I’m going is helpful.
Things I’m Grateful For:
- Playing softball tonight
- Getting my invoice to VIQ sent
- Getting close to finalizing proposals for DA/FSM
- The clients I get to work with now (AD, HS, CO and AM)
- My health and strength
- Getting to play with my kids this afternoon while Becky was teaching aerobics
- That I’m trying hard every day to avoid negative talk about Dane and decisions that are being made
- That I’m feeling more “consistent” with my study of the Gospel, in conjunction with the Steps of Recovery
- That I recognize that morning study is more effective than evening study, simply for the fact that I can apply during the day
- That I was able to study this evening