Selfishness (noun): Placing concern with oneself or one’s own interests above the well-being of others.
This is a post that I has been building inside of me for a very long time. I have been thinking about this word, and seeing the effects of it in so many different ways over the last few months, that I know that God is trying to show me something. As Christians, we are called to die to ourselves. Period. There is no second, “easier” option if we want to live for Christ. There is no watered-down way to follow Jesus. We die to ourselves. We give up placing concern with our wants, needs, and desires above – or at the cost of – others. Brian and I have four teenagers. If anybody witnesses selfishness on a daily basis, we do. Teenagers (mostly for just lack of maturity – God please let them outgrow it) are selfish by nature. They are really only concerned with their wants and needs. (Mostly their wants). Around our house – the majority of “conflict” or issues that arise are all borne out of someone being more concerned with themselves than with others. As we have grown as a couple and as a family – we have really come to understand that selfishness can tear people apart if gone unchecked. The more I live my life trying to walk with God and become more Christ-like, the more I see that MANY of the things that cause people to stumble – and the majority of sins in our world all come down to selfishness. People want what they want regardless of who else it may hurt or destroy. People do what THEY want to do – even when knowing it is wrong – because they think only about their own pleasure or fulfillment. We know that the right thing to do would be this option – but the easier thing to do is the selfish option. I’m NOT perfect. I know that I am a selfish person. WE ALL ARE. But here’s the thing…as Christ followers, we are commanded to deny ourselves. That means sometimes we don’t get what we want. That means sacrifice. That may mean pain. But if we want to follow him, it is no longer about US! Christ is our example. Christ showed us how to live for others – how to love others – in the extreme example of sacrifice when he gave his life for us. Not the easy option, not the “feel-good” option. But rather, a pure act of SELFLESSNESS. Jesus gave us everything, including his life. Jesus is our pattern and example. This earthly life is not about us. We are here only by the grace of God. We have hope because of the selfless act of God sending his son to take away our sin. We should do nothing less than show ourselves to be selfless in this life. In small ways, how can we become less about ourselves and more about God and others? How can we shift our focus from our own sinful desires to the love of God and the joy in living for him? Living for ourselves is NOT an option. Selfishness will eventually destroy us, our homes, and our lives. We must learn (and it is a process!) to deny ourselves (not about what we want anymore) and pick up the cross and follow Jesus.