We have a problem! Yep, you, me, the guy next to you, even that nice older lady who smiled at you the other day…and your kids, friends, spouse, in-laws, coworkers, fellow students, guys in your group, girls you spend time with, even your pastor! We have this unfortunate malady that negatively effects our lives and our relationships. This trouble, this condition is our selfish, me-centered pull! We have this unfortunate condition that constantly moves us to think mostly about us, to satisfy first our wants, desires and urges. We want what we want, and a good amount of the time we want it our way. We can even feel entitled to this self-focus. We want to be in control, be seen as important, get constantly appreciated, be doted over, and we can think more highly of ourselves then we ought.
This self-seeking tendency has ruined relationships, shut down wise decision making, spoiled meaningful conversation, wrecked critical thinking, damaged intimacy, trampled creativity, and impaired the much needed influence of God in our lives.
James 3:14-16 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
This selfish allure is a problem and none of us immune to it. There is however an interesting cure…
Philippians 2:3-4 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
This cure is a shift in our thinking, to think also about the interests, the dreams, goals, and needs of others. To care about other people. To instead of always talking, posting, texting, instagraming our interests…ask others about their life; how they are doing, what they are up to, what’s going in their life? Actions like these bring us back into a balanced life where connect with others and stop the downward spiral of selfishness.
Jesus is our example…
Philippians 2:5-7 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man (Jesus) came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus was in NO way selfish. He sought to help people, encourage others, comfort them in times of trouble, and provide for them the hope that He has. Jesus’ example, and the interesting cure for our selfish bent is to serve others; being kind and helping our neighbor with a project, giving generously to our community and church, buying some Girl Scout Cookies or those little goodies and such that people sell (and if you don’t eat that stuff, give it to someone who does and be double giving!), serve in your church – in your neighborhood school – in a worthwhile non-prophet in your community. Do something where the emphasis of your efforts are not for selfish gain.
Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.‘
The blessing of giving is the cure of the negative effects of being self-seeking. Yes, being others-focused and serving is an interesting cure of selfishness, but it works. Why not try it this week. Do some random act of unselfishness, expecting nothing in return, and see what happens. I do know it will hold back the me-monster inside you that is just waiting to mess up your life, but it may also be life-changing for you…and the others you bless.
Seeking to show unselfish kindness and serve others with you,
PS This Sunday as we experience the conclusion of our Global Outreach Week we will actually be looking at how we can selflessly bring hope to others like Jesus. Our theme this week has been “Hope-Full: Joining in to help feed a hope-hungry world” challenging us to be a part of the selfless call of bringing the hope of Jesus to our world. Please see our website for more details www.cypresschurch.net