The Cure for Self-Absorption

The Cure for Self-Absorption

She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20

When I got out of chemical dependency treatment, I began going to the local jail and sober housing facility for two reasons. First, I truly believed God wanted me to share his love with others, and second, I needed to be around those who knew they needed God as badly as I did. As it turned out, getting involved in the lives of fellow strugglers had an unexpected – but fantastic – side effect.

At the time, my life was still a bit of a disaster. My career was on shaky ground and I was putting my home life back together – slowly. I became obsessed with all the things that were broken in my life and I spent a lot of time in the hamster wheel of unhelpful, shameful thoughts. I knew that obsessing was not constructive, but I couldn’t just shut my mind off.

I soon realized though, that the answer to my cyclical destructive thinking was not to try really hard to think differently. It was to reach out, doing something – anything – to help others. As I got involved in the lives of other addicts, I suddenly found that I abandoned the preoccupation with my own emotions and trials.

Though today’s passage details the virtuous wife, there is application for all of us in describing the one who is not encumbered by vanity and self-absorption. I previously thought, that the woman described in this passage was just naturally not self-absorbed and thus, naturally dedicated to helping others. I had it backwards though.

It is only in obeying God, reaching out and giving of our time, love and money, that we lose our preoccupation with self. When we choose to love our neighbors, God does a profound work, growing us spiritually, turning our minds from self-obsession. If we need to escape ourselves, we must turn our focus outwards, loving those around us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 − ten =