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Stepping Stones: Do You Really Care For You?

Stepping Stones: Do You Really Care For You?
July 7, 2011 Lighthouse Network

Transformational Thought

I saw this message on the sign of an SPCA building, “Neglect is Abuse,” and it struck me just how profound those words are. Of course, the intention was focused on animals … but what about us humans?

Neglect isn’t a word we usually use to describe ourselves, or our society in this day and age, especially in the U.S. In fact, the opposite is usually what we hear, the ‘ME’ generation, self-indulgent … spoiled … immediate gratification … everybody gets a trophy for playing … welfare or handout state … let’s go out of our way for everybody to get attention. But think about it, are we really aware of the true inner needs, struggles, or God-placed longings in our heart? How about you? Are you paying attention and doing something constructive about your own internal needs, struggles, and longings? If you answer honestly, 98% of you will say “No.”

Few perform this honest self-assessment. But when you do assess, do you then go about addressing what you find in the most healthy, fulfilling, and life-giving way? Not self-assessing and not significantly and thoroughly addressing what you find, is self-neglect.

Neglect is prevalent in our society. We neglect ourselves, those we love, those in need … but most importantly, we also neglect our Lord. You see, God is the answer for the struggles that derail us … obstacles that hold us back … wounds that aren’t healed … patterns we struggle to break … emotions that rule us. By neglecting God, we also neglect ourselves and others.

Today, stop and think about areas in your life you are neglecting … pushing under the carpet … avoiding … suppressing … hoping nobody notices. Think about struggles you have identified, but have had trouble correcting or freeing yourself from their burden. Now trade the word abuse for neglect. In the dictionary, neglect is a synonym for abuse. Perhaps this simple word switch will help us to neglect less and start taking care of ourselves in the true sense as God called us to do. Put on the armor of God and specifically attack those strongholds today.

Prayer
Dear Father in heaven, I come to you with a guilty heart. I have been guilty of neglecting You. Forgive me, Father. I have been guilty of neglecting those I love and that I have a responsibility to care for. Replacing the word abuse for neglect makes it all seem so much worse. I ask Your forgiveness for the abuse of my body. Help me to be aware every day of those who need my care and attention. Also, help those whom I have abused to forgive me. I pray, Lord, that You working through me will end my neglect of others. With a sad heart I also realize now that others have neglected me, so help me forgive them, Lord, as You forgive me. Help them be aware that neglect is abuse. I pray in the name of the one was abused for my ultimate nurturing, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!

The Truth
Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message
1 Timothy 4:14

Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it.
Psalm 55:10

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. ‘The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12:30-31

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst”.
John 6:35

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