Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16

“Nothing hinders us more in our Christian lives than to keep our eyes fixed on ourselves, trying to search out evidences of our own goodness and fitness for the mercy of the Lord or tokens of our growth in grace.  If we think we find any, at once we are frightened at the danger of pride; and if we do not find any, we are plunged into the depths of discouragement.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, God is Enough, 8/16

So what ways do I keep my eyes fixed on myself?  Every time I wonder what someone thinks of me; when I feel someone has taken advantage of me; when I don’t like the way I look; the times I notice someone doing something in a way I wouldn’t do it.  I think that last one is a new revelation to me.  I’ve never stopped to realize how noting what someone is doing differently could reflect the fact that I’ve fixed my eyes on myself.  We humans tend to constantly compare ourselves to others.  We “check people out” to see how we look as compared to them: what kind of car we drive, how big or nice our house is, our clothes, our jobs, even our children.  But my habit of noticing and then often being critical of the way people do things is also focusing on myself.  I’m noticing for the purpose of comparing and this forces me to look even further at myself.  It produces either pride or discouragement, both of which only serve to take my eyes off Christ. Instead, I must turn [my] eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. (Helen H. Lemmel, 1922)

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness.”  Matthew 6:22, 23a

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