I have spent the majority of my life trying to understand when my selfishness had taken root and to what extent it began to unravel my daily existence. Being raised in a dysfunctional family, the youngest of four siblings, I was given everything by my mother. Maybe she was too old and tired to tell me no, whatever the reason, my needs were always met and sometimes in people's lives that can be...a bad thing. I think that discipline is a planned structure given to us by God. When you whine about things that your mind tells you that you won't be able to live without and people that love you have the means of making it happen, I believe the foundation for a empty life is being laid.
Growing up my self esteem was very low and my level of maturity seemed to be years younger than most of my friends. The protection and every need being met by my mother was done in good faith, but it cost me some of life's most important building blocks. When you have to work hard in school to make good grades, work at a job to save for the things you'd like to have, rather than having them handed to you, these are key components in building your character.
A Blessing from God is achieving a level of maturity that gives you a feeling of self worth and belonging. Growing up I never gave it a second thought, but when you are comfortable in your own skin, at peace in a crowd of people, able to speak to a group and feeling like you have self worth you have some of life's greatest Blessings. Most people take it for granted, but personally I would have given up all the material things I received to have a core of great self esteem.
Being married for forty-three years finds me today, just like that immature teenager, longing to belong, finding the workplace a great chore, rather than a place that is teaching me that things worth having in this life are worth working hard to obtain. A mindset established during the development years of a child are very, very hard to overcome. If your life feels empty and hopeless, probably, very probably you will try to fill the gaps, with things. Things spell more emptiness, whereas when the 'newness' of the item has passed, the next mailing or computer message will likely present your next 'fix.'
If you were to interview people and they were truthful, most would tell you they eat, buy, travel or do drugs and alcohol, because their lives have an emptiness they can't seem to fill. People who have great wealth and suffer with addictions and are under the care of professionals who try and analyze their ills and usually mask their anxiety and depression with drugs are prime examples of how all the material wealth on earth ca
n't fill the void in our lives. When the layers of these people's lives are peeled away it is very evident, there is a hole in their lives. Things done to them as children, family lives that were battlefields, not safe havens, children that are always questioning their worth, dealing with insecurities deeply grounded in their minds and time hasn't healed, but has festered and worsened.
What's the answer for these people stumbling through life searching for their healing, their deliverance and peace? One thing I'm sure of, there is nothing, absolutely nothing on this earth that will establish contentment with loved ones, surroundings, the workplace or your day to day drudgery offered by material offerings.
So what is the answer we all long for? What is the mystery answer to life's fleeting hopes to feel complete. What if I told you that almost everyone has the answer in their homes. It doesn't sit in your driveway, you can't put it on, you don't sit in front of it for countless hours watching or playing it, it doesn't smell great coming from the oven, it's not a new set of furniture or the beautiful home you've been Blessed with. It's probably laying on your coffee table, covered with layers of dust. Most, when the dust is removed, look just like new. Today they come in different colors and sizes, but the message they contain has never changed. You probably know where I'm headed...the Bible, the greatest selling book of all time.
Our Creator Jesus Christ spoke every word in this fantastic book and he gave it to his appointed Saints to write down the architecture to answer and cure all of man's woes. Feel empty, hopeless, lonely, without an ounce of self esteem, it's all in the book, God hasn't left out a single cure to our problems. So where is the disconnect, where's the breakdown in the wealth of this information being applied to our daily lives? If you're honest with yourself, how much time have you ever spent studying God's Word?
I believe there is a connection between the values established in my life as a young person. You have to work hard and if it's worth having, it's worth working hard to get. The same application fits with God's instruction booklet. He's given you everything you'll ever need to know in the Bible, but it takes some work to uncover all of its mysteries. I'm not saying this from a place of someone whose invested the time needed to achieve a closer walk with God, but I'm truly convinced the answer is...God's Word!
I'm just an old man whose spent his entire life wrapped up in worry, fears and battling all the ills that low self esteem will dump on you, but I do have one piece of gold that my Heavenly Father has Blessed me with...'Man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.' I pray that the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ, by the power of his mighty Holy Spirit will begin to instill in you his peace, not as the world gives, but his peace!