and come away"
by James Shaw Crompton
Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3
TO CHEW ON: "I had put off my garment;
how could I put it on?
I had bathed my feet;
how could I soil them." Song of Solomon 5:3
Even this idyllic garden of love has a pest or two. In today's reading we see glimmers of selfishness when Beloved comes to the door, but Bride doesn't feel like getting dressed or soiling her clean feet. So she delays. When she does eventually open the door no one is there. Beloved has gone. She has delayed too long.
We may recognize Bride's selfishness in reactions that well up within us. We don't like to be interrupted, pulled away from activities that we have planned, or have our sleep broken by the telephone.
After ignoring the summons to respond we may be filled with regret just like Bride was. But when we try to back-track, we often find, just like she did that once an opportunity to show love has been squandered, it is lost forever.
PRAYER: Dear God, I recognize Bride's selfishness in me. Help me to respond to opportunities to show love and think more of others than myself. Amen.
MORE: The sober truth
John Piper explores selfishness in a February 2011 sermon entitled "I Act the Miracle":
"Selfishness is virtually the same as pride and is the deep, broad corruption that is at the bottom of it all. I would give it six traits.
• My selfishness is a reflex to expect to be served.
• My selfishness is a reflex to feel that I am owed.
• My selfishness is a reflex to want praise.
• My selfishness is a reflex to expect that things will go my way.
• My selfishness is a reflex to feel that I have the right to react negatively to being crossed.
And the reason I use the word “reflex” to describe the traits of selfishness is that there is zero premeditation. When these responses happen, they are coming from nature, not reflection. They are the marks of original sin.
Now what happens when this selfishness is crossed?" - Read all of I Act the Miracle and discover ANTHEM (an acronym for victory over selfishness and its nasty symptoms).
By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.