The Living Dead, Part One

I've come to the conclusion that anything can inspire a blog post (or a series of posts).  Bugs, funny incidents, glaring mistakes, my crazy mutts.  You name it, God can use it to bring a devotion to mind.  Such was the case with a convicting pin I came across on Pinterest.  Now, I try not to spend a lot of time on social media, but when I do have a few minutes to spare, I enjoy browsing through comments on Facebook or pins on Pinterest.

Anyway, I came across a pin that spelled out a test you can take to determine whether or not you are dying to self.  I like to call it "The Living Dead Test" because we are alive in Christ, yet to be fully alive in Him, we must die to self, hence, the living dead!  The author of this particular test is unknown, so please understand that I am not claiming credit for his/her creation.  What I would like to do over the next several posts, however, is to break down and examine each point of the test.  To be honest, I failed the test.  In fact, I didn't even get one point, which is very depressing, but at the same time, helpful in identifying my weak areas.  Hopefully, you'll score better than I did.  Now, on to point number one.

"When you are forgotten or neglected, and you don't hurt with the insult, but your heart is happy--that is dying to self."

I remember hearing the story of a church pianist who felt forgotten and neglected every year at the church Christmas party when the choir director received a Christmas gift for his faithful service yet she received nothing.  In her mind, she was as much a vital part of the choir music as the director.  She put in just as much time as he did if not more.  Yet, her efforts were taken for granted and overlooked, and the pianist's heart hurt despite her efforts to not let if bother her.

One year, the choir director decided that the choir would perform a Christmas cantata that was beyond the pianist's ability to play.  That being the case, a substitute pianist was brought in for practices and the presentation of the cantata.  This did not bother the church pianist, for she knew that the work was beyond her ability.  What did bother her, however, was that at the end of the cantata, the church presented the substitute pianist with a gift and offering for her services.  It was all the poor church pianist could do to hold back the tears.

No one likes to be forgotten or neglected.  It hurts.  It makes us sad.  It causes us to feel sorry for ourselves, and there's the problem.  The feeling of neglect turns our focus inward instead of outward. It causes us to concentrate on "poor pitiful me" instead of looking out for others that are hurting, for others who also feel forgotten or neglected.  If we're only concerned with our feelings and our well-being, we are not dead to self.  We're very much alive to self!

The second problem with our reaction to being forgotten or neglected is that it's totally unnecessary because the fact of the matter is we have never been completely forgotten or neglected.  Yes, man may have overlooked us, but God never does.  He does not forget or neglect His children.  He watches and notices everything we do, both the good and the bad.  While no one else may applaud your work or notice your contribution, God does, and He will reward you in His own time.

"When you are forgotten or neglected, and you don't hurt with the insult, but your heart is happy--that is dying to self."

So, are you dead yet?