"The preoccupations of young women - their looks, their clothes, their social life - don't seem to change much from generation to generation. But in every generation there are a few who make other choices."I've been mulling over this quote and reading Scripture that pushes me over the edge almost daily for a week, thinking about how my life would truly look if I adhered to the path of "other choices." What if I didn't spend my days preoccupied with the clothes I wear, the nowhere-near-perfect way my hair lies on my head, the friends I have (or don't have)? What if my work days did not consist of my preoccupation with people pleasing, self-pleasing, and selfish motives? What if?
Jesus has reminded me in these past few weeks that He does not ask for crazy amazing acts; He doesn't even ask for me to do something remarkable. He simply asks me to step forward.
To lose my life of selfishness, I must step forward with one decision after another, saying "Lord You are worth more than my comfort ever will be."
To lose my life of people-pleasing, I must step forward with one decision after another, whispering "Lord You are the only One I live for, so I live to please You."
To lose my life of preoccupations, I must step forward and pray in each moment that He will be my only treasure.
The steps are sometimes so difficult that it feels as if I'm carrying 50 lbs of weights along with me, enough to make me ball my hands into a fist and grit my teeth at the temptation to give in yet again to that super-convincing flesh of mine. It. Is. So. Hard. to be Jesus to others around me when I just want to do things that will bring me comfort. I want to rip the selfish longings out of my chest, but I know the only way I can make them go away is by reminding myself that Jesus conquered them when He was nailed to the cross... and THAT is the Gospel.
"Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life." -John 12:25
I'm thankful that, even in my worst moments when I'm struggling to follow in obedience and I don't feel encouraged by other believers and I want to give in to temptations to love myself so badly, He picks me up and brushes me off and releases me from the tension by saying "I have overcome the world-- and that includes every single one of the things you've done or will do to disappoint me today."
I don't always make the choice to stay away from "preoccupations" and worldly beauties, but when I do make the small steps and move forward a teensy bit, my love for the world decreases. Truly, hating the world and my comfort has caused me to want to live and long for Jesus, and I'm thankful for every single struggle that has brought me to it.
So listen to this beautiful, perfect, truth-filled song by Ellie Holcomb and make "other choices."