Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Monster of Selfishness

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

A very common sin in our culture is narcissism. Two of its deadly by-products are selfishness and conceit, traits that are the very opposite of what should characterize a humble Christ follower. 

The apostle Paul wrote a lot about selfishness, so it is nothing new. However, when he talks about it, it’s not just “I,” “me,” or “my,” it’s pursuing something in a factional way. In other words, an egotistical, personal desire to move your own agenda forward in a destructive, disruptive way. A person like this is motivated with the idea that his way is always the right way—the only way.

In a church, this kind of behavior can be deadly and divisive. It’s a behavior that leads to factionalism, jealousy, strife, disharmony, and partisanship. We see this in the make up of the Christ followers in Corinth. It was the primary problem he addressed in his letter of 1 Corinthians. So Paul asked them an important question, “For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” [1 Corinthians 3:3].

Our carnal, human nature produces selfishness and conceit, and that’s why it is critical that we keep it under control. The most effective way to do this is to constantly yield to the control of God, the Holy Spirit. Paul told the Galatian Christ followers to, “walk in [by means of] the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh [Galatians 5:16].

Another thing we can do is to realize that other Christ followers also have goals and dreams and agendas as well. If we keep that in mind, it will go a long way in killing the monster of selfishness in your life.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself.  Philippians 2:3 

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