Tag Archives: selfishness

Am I Responsible?

Am I Responsible?

by Susan Hitchman


Wikipedia picture

A twinge of conscience pricked my heart as I walked past the older woman. The street was thronging with people coming and going from Seattle’s Pike Street Market, and panhandlers were everywhere. But as I stepped past her and stood with my family waiting for the crosswalk light to turn, I saw her wearily rest her head against the light pole.

Was it a ploy?

The other panhandlers were bold, flaunting cardboard signs linking love for God with supporting their marijuana habits. It was easier walking past them than her. But as our walk light lit up, I stepped out and crossed the street with my family. I was a visitor to Seattle.

Was I responsible?

The next morning as I sat reading my Bible and praying in a quiet corner of the hotel lobby, the picture of the street woman kept filling my mind. I saw myself doing what I should have done, my arm reaching across her shoulders as I simply asked, “Are you O.K?” I was looking into her eyes, granting her the dignity of comfort in human suffering.

I was overwhelmed with the awareness of my selfishness.

As I inwardly moaned in repentance, I asked for forgiveness. That opportunity to show God’s love to an aching heart was gone. Would God’s mercy grant me another opportunity to do it right?

The young King Josiah was in a predicament not unlike mine. Upon hearing the recently discovered ‘Book of the Law’ read to him, he too was overwhelmed with an awareness of sin. Visions of the idolatries and cruelties his kingly forbears had committed rose in his mind.  He was more expressive than me, tearing his robes and weeping, taking steps to inquire through a prophetess the LORD’s verdict.

In this story we’re given an incredible glimpse of God’s perspective. We’re told that God observed that Josiah’s “heart was responsive and (he) humbled (him)self before the LORD”.

“Because you…wept in my presence, I have heard you”, God declares (2 Kings 22:19, NIV).

We’re not told that Josiah had actually prayed in so many words, yet God heard him. Josiah had wept in remorse and repentance. He had been responsive to God’s Spirit revealing Himself and His commands through His Word. He had humbled himself and took steps to repair the situation.

Perhaps you too have wept a tear or two over your awareness of failings in your life. Take heart. That is one form of prayer. If your heart is responsive to His convicting Word and you humble yourself in repentance, there is great hope. God has heard you and is willing to help you turn your tears into actions of obedience.

“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5, NIV).

Go ahead and cry; it speaks volumes to God.


Go ahead and cry; it speaks volumes to God. (tweet this)

I was overwhelmed with the awareness of my selfishness. (tweet this)

Sue Hitchman

Susan Hitchman

Sue  seeks to integrate the adventure of following Christ with her roles as wife, mother of five, co-leader of a women’s Bible study group and parent prayer group, and retreat speaker.  She is a member of The Word Guild and NCWA. Outdoor pursuits (cycling, gardening, hiking, & kayaking) remind her of God’s creative bent and constant presence. She writes to encourage others in their journey of faith in God.  Visit her blog at: Word Made Flesh


Be Honest – Part 3

In the first two posts I have described two of the things that can blindside us from the Truth in what God is telling us. I discussed both jealousy and a critical nature.

This week’s question is:

Do I have anything selfish to gain from this outcome?

One sentence in the study stood out. Some people enjoy being right about people being wrong. Ouch. At first I pushed this one away – and I said, “I don’t think that way. I am following Christ. I don’t want anyone to be wrong.” Oops – not true. I think about when I think I am right about something and my husband disagrees with me. Boy do I want to be right! And when I am proved right – smug is the word. And if I am proved wrong – it is very humbling and I don’t want to admit it.

Here is another statement: Pride pushes us to desire our best over the best of others. Double ouch. When I used to curl (a competitive team game played on ice) I found myself so engrossed in the game of winning that I got tense and wanted everyone to put as much effort as I did into their play. Of course, being tense did nothing to help my own contribution to the team and being overly hyper in my demands did nothing to help anyone else either. I pulled back from competitive play because I didn’t like me anymore. Now I have started to learn tennis. So far, so good but I am only learning – haven’t really played a game. Have I learned enough to pray before – in order to remember what is really important – people and their hearts? Being Christ and showing Christ?

Rather than merely looking out for my interest, can I begin to place the needs of others before my own?

The only way to see God in situations is to see myself in His Light. Will He shine in me today? Can I push my pride aside and get my personal agenda out of the way to see God? Hard questions. Only God can help me do that. One day at a time.


Father, help me to push self to the side, and seek Your face. Help me see if I am doing something from selfishness. Help me place others’ needs before my own. In Jesus’ name. AMEN

Next week I will continue with the last question. This study is based on a book called Faithful, Abundant and True with Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer and Beth Moore.