The Fight to Be Unselfish | Monday Musings

The Fight to be Unselfish | Monday Musings

Last year I went to Africa. Twice. I already wrote several blogs about that (see here and here) so I won't review everything that happened, but visiting a much poorer country awakened me to something that has bothered me my entire life. I spent most of my childhood overseas in Asia and had very different experiences than most people I know who grew up in America. Some were good and some made me want to come "home," but the older I get the more I realize that I haven't yet found out where my home really is.

What has consistently bothered me is the mindset that I slip into once I return from an overseas trip. While I am there it is easy for me to be all about everyone else. I can jump in and serve the team, even doing things I absolutely hate doing, with utter joy. Being off my schedule doesn't bother me much and for however long I am there I don't even worry about my business.

Coming home last year was the hardest part of each trip. I felt a slight feeling of desperation. I don't know that Virginia, or even America, is home for me, and I know that as soon as the plane lands my brain switches back to business mode. I become less joyful, less servant-hearted, and less loving - even in my own home. There is nothing magical about Africa. It is all within my heart, and I slowly allow myself to become more selfish with my time and the gifts I've been given when I am back.

I have realized that as much as this is 100% of my fault, it is also a result of the society around me. If I'm being honest, I have more than I need of almost everything. I have lots of time. I have the means to live and live well. Meanwhile, articles online and podcasts and blogs are all saying that I need to do more for myself. I need "me" time. I need time away. I need to invest in spoiling myself once in awhile. I need to do things each day to make me happy.

Me, me, me. It's not all wrong, and it's not all bad. I can't live my life in seclusion from happiness, and I am going to spend money on things that are wants rather than needs. But why am I listening to a world that is telling me to try harder to please myself when Jesus tells me to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit" (Philippians 2:3). Why do I want my life to be more selfish than it already is, for Jesus "... did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

In lifting myself up, I am going to inevitably put others down, whether intentionally or not. I must fight daily to be unselfish. I must guard myself against using my time and money only to make me happy. And for this season I'm pondering the questions...what if I did one thing each day to make someone else happy? How would the world look then?

Have some thoughts? Comment and tell me what you think below!

Maria Grace Photography

My name is Maria, and I am a wedding and family photographer based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, but I am always excited about traveling. I love families who truly enjoy spending time with each other and living life together. I love couples that are looking forward to their wedding day because they are so excited to finally be married to.