Selfishness 


Selfishness can be a very subtle thing. It can manifest itself in many ways, although the one acting selfish may not realize what they’re doing.

Some ways it may appear are-

  1. The need to be seen – the center of attention
  2. Manipulation
  3. Depression, pouting, anger, mood swings, etc.
  4. Monopolizing a conversation
  5. Interrupting someone else’s conversation
  6. Overachieving

Something I witnessed about myself the other day.

At a funeral, of all places. 

Sitting in the sanctuary, waiting for the service to begin, I saw a number of fellow ministers in attendance. Sometimes, I’m ashamed to admit, I feel out of place, unknown and overlooked, and desperately in need of some kind of recognition. 

Is it wrong to want to be liked? 

No. 

But as I got out of my seat to greet a minister I knew (though not very well – I had to remind him of my name), I sensed the Holy Spirit speak to my heart about selfishness. 

In other words, my act of greeting was more about me than him. It was about being seen with a well known minister. It wasn’t about my investing anything in the other person’s life, but trying to look important by association. 

Selfishness.

Ugly, worldly, selfishness.

Oh, what can be done about such an ugly thing?

First, I needed to acknowledge it as sin, whether anyone else noticed it or not. God knew it, and now I do.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” (Romans 12:3 ESV)

Second, I must stay on guard against such desires. One of the best ways is to remind myself who God has made me, in Christ. 

I’m not inferior, or superior for that matter. I am me. I was created on purpose, for a purpose. I belong to God, and He is the Lord of my life. 

In the above scripture, sober judgment can refer to being honest with myself, God, and others. I should find out what God has done, is doing, and has promised to do in me and get busy with that.

“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:” (2 Peter 1:1 ESV)

See, Peter wrote to people who had obtained a faith of equal standing with himself. Really? Faith as important and potentially powerful as Peter’s? Yes!

It’s something God has done for every one of us, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Third, selfishness cannot manifest itself if I’m concerned about how to make others feel encouraged, important, and edified. If I’m not adding to a relationship, at least desiring to, then I’m probably taking from it. 

In a word? Selfishness.

I’m working on it, though I’m certain I haven’t mastered it yet. 

How about YOU? Do YOU recognize a bit of selfishness showing in YOUR life?

If so, what are you going to do about it?

It’s the little, insignificant things in our lives that determine the kind of person we are.