February 24, 2005
Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Our government has an agency known as the Center for Disease Control that has one purpose: to monitor, investigate, and seek cures for the various diseases that afflict the human race. AS thorough as the agency is, there is one disease that the CDC doesn’t track.
It’s not infectious, it doesn’t respond to antibiotics, and it isn’t mentioned in medical textbooks. In fact, pastors and counselors see more cases of this disease than doctors do. It’s the disease of introspection.
Introspection flares up when people suffer, when they get isolated from others due to discouraging or difficult circumstances. Almost everyone has suffered from the disease of introspection at one time or another. It’s when we start focusing on ourselves, picking apart who we are and what we’ve done to deserve the difficult situation we are in.
Our lives become like a vortex of water going down a bathtub drain, sucking everything and everyone around us into our private pain. We get so focused on ourselves that we are blind to the needs of others around us. The disease of introspection can darken our vision and affect everyone around us.
I have learned to live on guard against introspection. For sure, I give my life situations sober consideration, seeking to know the will and ways of God. But I do not obsess over my pain or suffering. Instead, I find that one of the best remedies in times of suffering is prayer—but not prayer for myself. Instead, I get my eyes off myself and ask the Holy Spirit to help me intercede for others.
One of the fastest routes out of introspection is intercession for others who have needs as real as mine—those whose faith is in danger, public officials, the lost who don’t know Jesus, spiritual leaders, and the sick. How, you may ask, am I supposed to have the spiritual strength and emotional wherewithal to pray for others when my own life is so out of sorts? You couldn’t if it depended on you—but thankfully, it doesn’t. The disease of introspection is a one-way ticket to despair. Pray for yourself, then refocus your attention from self to others, and pray healing and helping prayers for them.
I’M ALWAYS AMAZED HOW QUICKLY I AM MADE BETTER ON
THE WAY TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE.