Surviving Christmas with a Selfish Heart

I can remember a time, not too long ago, when I was happy being selfish. Our weekly bible study group was meeting at our house that night and we were studying some scripture about serving others, putting others first, helping people in need, etc.
Beauty Begins with Biscotti:
People were sharing about local ministries they were involved in and how they helped someone just last week. The discussion moved to setting up a day and time we could come together as a group and serve in some capacity in our community. I inwardly groaned. My thoughts turned to dread as I secretly bemoaned the thought of postponing my rendezvous with my couch, coffee, headband, and yoga pants.

I had recently moved to Greer, and my walls were still spray painted with new-house-blah beige. I guess I didn't mind being honest and transparent with my newfound fellowship of believers. "I find this very hard to do," I vomited.

"Do what?"

"Well, like, help people. I have no desire to take time out of my day and exert effort to help complete strangers or listen to people talk for an hour, or be otherwise inconvenienced. I know I'm supposed to want to do those things," I offered, "but I just don't."

I'll never forget my pastor saying that he'll pray for me. Ha! My heart was blessed by a few and then I was assured that it's normal to feel this way and that one day I may feel differently.

Can you relate to any of this?

Beauty Begins with Biscotti:
Almost eight years later I can still vividly remember that evening. After a few years of shedding blood, sweat, and tears, it is now a joy for me to give of myself and lend my time and talents to help others. I didn't actively seek to end my Scroogeness, but I desperately longed for closeness with the Lord, companionship with Jesus, and the peace of God. I found these when I realized this truth:

The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

After experiencing God's love for me and witnessing miracles in my life, I have a fresh sense of gratitude that manifests itself in helping others.

You may have been born with a genuine passion for loving other people, but my natural inclination is for an afghan and a cup of chai tea without interruptions. When the Creator of the Universe gets a hold of you, however, there's no telling what our God can do with a selfish heart.