January 7th – Poor old me!



So few Christians are tempted to be like the prodigal son. The real temptation is to be more like the elder brother who was angry and wouldn’t go in. Analyse the anger – it is made up of three ingredients from hell. One is the presence of self-importance which says ‘No one consulted me. After all I’m the one that does all the work around here and behaves responsibly’. ‘It’s not fair … after all I’ve done. Not a word of thanks”.
The second ingredient is self pity.The ‘Poor old me’ syndrome which we all know only too well. ‘No one ever gave me a party’. ‘I am treated as a slave round here.’ ‘I’m unappreciated. No one cares about me.’ ‘Someone else always gets the limelight. No one loves me.’
I know YOU wouldn’t say it, but so many good folk feel put on:unthanked and taken for granted, and it produces ulcers of resentment. Self pity’s a killer.
The third poison is self-righteousness, which looks down its nose at other people and simply ‘can’t stand’ some of them – the way they go on – gambling, boozing and getting AIDS through unprotected sex …… and which prays ‘I thank you Father that I’m not like some people I could mention’. ‘At least I’m better than most of the common herd.’
This is from Luke 15. The elder brother is speaking to his father:
“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” Luke 15: 29-30
A prayer: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner, and expose all my self-in-the-centre sins and open my eyes to the robes of righteousness I wear and see that they are all but filthy rags of pride.
Now read as much as you can take of Matthew Chapter 23.

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Thought 4 The Day

A Prayer by George Herbert 1593: O God thou hast given so much to us, give one thing more, a grateful heart; for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen

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