Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Brings out the Best in Selfish People

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. John 12:2 NIV.”

Compulsive overeaters like me turn inward. At one time, my motto, though I wouldn’t admit it, was “It’s all about me.” Feeling sorry for myself exacerbated my eating, and eating increased my low self esteem. This vicious cycle churned in my mind and spiraled to lower depths with each day. At one point in my life, even though I had a faithful husband and three precious daughters, I could see nothing worthwhile to my life. Feeling empty and void of any good thing, I truly believed my family would be better off without me.

Now, it's Christmas time. I just returned from stuffing stockings for under-privileged children. My mouth sings and my heart feels weightless. My mind focuses on others, not myself. I feel good about helping someone.

In chapter twelve of John, Mary loved Jesus so much, she longed to show Him in a tangible way. The only thing she could think of was to break open her perfume, which was possibly the only thing of value she owned, and anoint Jesus’ head. Many thought that action foolish. Once a friend thought I was crazy for picking up a mentally-challenged lady and bringing her to Bible study. This sweet lady didn’t seem to know what we were saying and added nothing to the conversation. But, in doing this, my mind stayed on her, not me.

Do what you can. Do what God leads you to do. Focus on someone besides yourself. God will conquer your shortcomings and bring joy to you as well as those you help.



Vivian Zabel said...

Merry Christmas.

Moonine Sue Watson said...

Good thoughts this time of year when it is all about shopping. There are so many people in need. It's good to read in the newspaper about all the groups who are helping out children, teenagers, abused women and children, and senior citizens. It would be good to continue the support all year long.
Thanks for posting. Merry Christmas.

Jeanne Doyon said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Janet. I have always loved the lessons gleaned from this story of the alabaster vial...and Jesus' words, "she did what she could".
What great words to aspire to.


Winona Cross said...

Merry Christmas to you as well. Janet, you've written a touching and so very real post. I understand about your past feelings. The same feelings haunt me.

Christmas is a most special time for me. The commercialism gets to me at times. I always have my eye on Jesus, especially during the Christmas season.

Helping others in small ways for us feels big to them.

Merry Christmas, Janet. I look forward to seeing you in January. Blessings.

Pat Rowland said...

Janet, this is beautiful. I once worked with mentally challenged at church and they were the chief blessing of all I've done with and for others. They are God's special children and they know Him intimately and love Him very much. They taught me so much about unconditional love -- theirs for me and others. Pat Rowland, cwfi

Unknown said...

Thanks for the good wishes. Christmas is a time to remind us the focus should be on others. I appreciate so many wonderful friends I've met through writing. God has truly blessed my life with you.

Meliaka said...

Wow! Wonderful post, Janet. Something for all of us to think about this time of year. Thank you for reminding us. Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas!!!