Do you have a problem with selfishness and self-centeredness? In Romans 12:3 (HCSB) the Apostle Paul wrote, “For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.”
The Apostle Peter says that as we approach the end of time as we know it, false teachers will arise on many fronts, and selfishness or self-centeredness will be a dominant characteristic. 2 Peter 2:2-3 (CSB) “Many will follow their depraved ways, and the way of truth will be maligned because of them. 3 They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories. Their condemnation pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.”
It is not wrong to have a healthy self-image, to have a good reputation, and a sterling character. We should all want to develop these characteristics. But we are living in a day when selfishness and self-centeredness prevail on many fronts. So many people are not lovers of truth.
Peter makes it clear that such people are accountable to God. 2 Peter 2:9-10 (CSB) says, “Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.”
I thank God for the privilege of being a shepherd of a church family where I see very little if any, self-centeredness. Instead, I see people who deeply care for one another. What an inspiration that is to me. Rest assured Satan would love to nurture a spirit of selfishness in us if he could. He had such a high opinion of himself and thought he should at least be equal to God or even greater. It caused him to lead a revolt against his Creator.
In our hearts, we know whether things always have to be our way. It is very easy to sugarcoat the tendency of self-centeredness with church attendance, Biblical reading, and religious language. We can have strong Biblical beliefs yet have a tendency toward “my way or the highway.” Be sure to read the fruit of selfishness as described by Paul in Galatians 5:19-21 (CSB).
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things— as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
WOW! What he wrote was powerful!
Instead, in Galatians 5:22-23 (CSB) we are to seek the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things.”
Consider how destructive selfishness can be in the following settings:
· Marriage · Family · Workplace · Church · Friendships
In the past when I was doing a lot of marriage and personal counseling, it was amazing how often selfishness and self-centeredness were a hindrance to healing relationships.
Luke, in chapter 6 verse 31 says, “Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them” (CSB). Actually, I urge you to read the entire passage, 6:27-36. It is excellent because he tells us not only how to relate to fellow believers but also to unbelievers. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can demonstrate the kind of relationships that honor the LORD and are a witness to others.
In Luke 10:30-37 Jesus gave the account of the good Samaritan. I am sure you recall the story. A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and was overpowered by robbers. They left him for dead. Several people went by – a priest, a Levite, and a Samaritan. The priest and Levite passed on by showing no concern. The Samaritan – from whom you might not expect any concern – went to him, put him on his own animal after bandaging his wounds, and took care of him. The next morning, he gave the innkeeper two denarii and said, “Take care of him. When I come back I’ll reimburse you for whatever extra you spend.”
Are we good Samaritans? Do we see people who are hurting for one reason or another, and with hearts full of compassion, step up and do whatever we can to help them? Jesus said to the lawyer who was trying to trap him, “Go and do the same.”
Ever since I broke my hip the outpouring of love and help has been overwhelming. I am so blessed. Thank you for your care and concern. The refreshing thing is that I see the heart of Christ in action by our Jubilee family day after day as you care for each other. I am sure that Jesus is pleased.
God bless you.