Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)
TITLE: Stuck in the Flypaper
By Margaret Reed
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on sticky paper. You know the kind, the long orange gooey stuff you hang out on the back porch to catch flies. As a child living
in the country I grew up constantly getting those things stuck in my hair. Oh, it's not pretty when it's covered with dead flies, or
flies still buzzing trying to get free. You want nothing more to get it out of your hair as quickly as possible, but of course if you
tug at it and move around too quickly the entire thing will be tangled in your hair. Patience is the key to getting them out of your
hair. Sometimes removing one strand of hair at a time. Most of the time help is required in freeing yourself. There have been
times too, when it was nesasarry to bring out the scissors and cut your way out. Which sometimes leads to a new hairdo. This
may or may not be a good thing. After all who wants change forced on them in such a violent and unexpected manner.
Realizing our own selfishness and making appropriate changes in our lives can leave us feeling like we've been
trapped in the fly paper way to long. How do we free ourselves from the sticky goop? How do we keep from inflicting more
damage than what we "want"? Have you taken a good look at the areas in your life that you may be selfish about. Do you
privately covet, you know, keeping up with the Jones? Do you desire money and fame? Do you wish your spouse would spend
more time with you? Do you wish your children behaved better, because they embarrass you? The list goes on and on my
friend. Every moment of every day we battle our own will. The thing that will free us from the flypaper first and foremost is
Jesus. Allow the Spirit to work in our hearts to clear out the goop, and cut off some of the hair if necessary. This may require
help; confession is good for the soul. We may even need outside help, maybe a mentor for advice. Maybe even professional
guidance. However the Spirit leads, we should follow. Remember selfishness is a natural human feeling, but if left unchecked it
can become dangerous and self-destructive.
A few years ago a very good Christian friend almost lost everything in her life because of selfishness. She wanted
more than she had. She found it to be difficult to be content as a mother and wife. Her husband made a great living and she was
free to do anything she wanted. Her favorite pastime was shopping. Only this never seemed to be good enough for her. She
always complained that her life wasn't good enough. She wanted more, until one day she started seeking outside her marriage.
She became a magnet to all the wrong things in life, drugs, alcohol and affairs. In her selfishness she nearly lost her husband
and her children. With professional and spiritual help she and her family are on the road to recovery.
Selfishness can seep into your life over a period of time, as it did with my friend. Then it seems it takes on a life all it's
own. Before you know it you will have to take out the scissors and made drastic changes to free yourself from the flypaper. If
however we patiently remove the strands of hair from the flypaper daily, our selfishness will be at a minimum, allowing us to
live a life more selflessly focused on Jesus.
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