Self Destruction

Lately, I’ve been consumed with a mission that I fear I may never solve. I’m trying to discover how to get through to a person who is so wrapped up in their SELF that they jeopardize the loss of the people they hold dear to them. I imagine that may also be God’s biggest obstacle in dealing with the human flesh.

You see, SELF is the hugest factor for destroying a marriage. I know I’ve talked quite frequently about it before, but I’ve seen such devastation because of it in many couples we’ve counseled. Along with a surprisingly low self-esteem, overly selfish people tend to harbor emotional issues they’ve failed to deal with that cause this focus on SELF. Maybe it’s a survival mechanism.

In dealing with people who have addictive personalities, the SELF monster almost always appears. The alcohol, drugs, or whatever, become problems big enough to ruin a marriage. Severely selfish people seem to want to SELF-destruct.

It’s been said that the best solution for depression or self-pity is to reach out to help someone else. I believe many people get so bogged down in their SELF that they can’t figure out how to get out of it. Sadly, they usually aren’t aware of their selfish tendencies and don‘t understand their need for alcohol or drugs or whatever addicts them. Counseling is usually necessary, but only God can fill that void causing these addictions. If we get out of our SELF, we can use that energy to reach out to others, which is why God put us here in the first place!

I think back to the difficulties Rick and I faced in our marriage 20 years ago. There was a time after the death of my father that I sank into a deep depression. I clearly remember dwelling only on how bad I felt, how much my life sucked, and all the awful things that had gone wrong in my life. Poor, poor me!

I couldn’t pull myself out of it. I could barely function. I tried to drown that pain with alcohol and an extra-marital relationship. Granted, all these issues (including the divorce of my parents) I had buried for years suddenly surfaced and I had no clue what to do with them.

I often wonder what direction my life would have taken had I not allowed God to pull me out of that miry pit. I cringe to think what would have happened to my children.

But God did pull me out, one step at a time. He gradually showed me the direction I needed to go. At that point, anything looked better than dwelling in that slimy pit. What did I have to lose? I know too many people who never seem to be able to pull out of the pit. Dwelling on your self will keep you in the armpits of hell.

James 3:14-16 says, “If you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

Unfortunately, pointing out this “sin” to a selfish person is not usually well received. They have to realize it on their own and seek the help of God in their own time. This can be a long, painful process for those loved ones standing by. “Nothing is impossible with God” though. I would suggest lots of prayer and lots of love. If I find a failproof answer to this difficult task, I will certainly let you know.


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