Day 78: Stop Focusing on Self

Read: Genesis 11:1-4

Last fall, the movie “Beautiful Boy” was released. It follows a young man’s struggle to overcome his addiction with meth. He realizes the danger of the drug and the harm it wreaks on his body as well as his family. His love for his family motivates him to pursue recovery, yet his brain’s reliance on the drug calls him back time and time again. 

This is a tragic reality in society today as seen in the opioid epidemic that kills more than 130 people a day in the United States according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Addiction is dangerous. Drug addicts know certain substances are physically and mentally harmful. They’ve experienced and realized the consequences, yet their body craves the substance, making it extremely hard to resist.

God judged humanity for their sin through the flood. Yet even after seeing the gravity of sin and the discipline that it deserves, people are still pursuing sin. Sin was not wiped out in the flood, but continued to be passed down the generations of humanity. Despite its consequences, people continue to return to their sin.

In the story of the Tower of Babel, we see people who want to honor themselves. They were not content worshiping God, and thought that they were worthy enough to be compared to God. They were trying to reach heaven with this tower they were building. Rather than pouring themselves out to worship God, they poured themselves and their resources out into the worthless effort of self-glorification. 

Self-worship only leaves us empty and wanting more. Humanity is the same today in that we need someone to pull us out of this cycle of worshiping ourselves to see that worshiping God will fill us with hope and contentment. Our continual pursuit of sin despite its consequences makes it clear that we need a Savior.

While sin and self-worship are enticing and are far too easy to fall into, the good news is that we have a choice. We don’t have to return to this empty pursuit anymore. With the help of God, we can choose to pursue Him instead. This cannot be done in our own strength, but by relying on God, the cycle of sin can be broken. When tempted to say yes to making a name for ourselves, we can choose to lift up God’s name instead. This takes being humble during praying, getting to know God’s Word, and worshiping. It takes asking God for strength. Saying no to sin and yes to God is hard, but it is worth it.

Spend a few minutes praying right now. Ask God to give you a humble heart that will rely on Him when facing temptation today.

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