“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4, NASV)
There they were walking through the store … a mother and her little boy. There was nothing unusual except … the boy was on a leash! Yes, it was a leash, much like one used for walking a dog … and it would only stretch out so far … and that was it!
Was this cruel or humiliating, even embarrassing? No, not to the mother and really not to the child either. The mother was simply trying to keep the little boy safe. The fact is all this little boy wanted to do was go as far as the line would reach … strain, pull, arch himself and stretch the boundary as far as it would go and try he did, thinking only of himself.
Isn’t it a fact that each of us has an innate desire to satisfy our own desires and become very proficient at serving ourselves? Selfish is not a good word to hear … especially if it is directed at us! Yet, the Bible declares with great clarity that selfishness is actually at the root of all sin!
“You’re being selfish” is a phrase that bounces off of the walls in our homes! It appears between husbands and wives … between parents and their children … and last but not least between the kids themselves! We all know this is true, don’t we?
The problem that we fail to realize is that when we have run our life out to the end of the proverbial leash … when we run until we reach the end of the string … we find ourselves empty of real joy, happiness, fulfillment, and yes, a marked absence of peace with God and others.
Take a look at our society and the culture that has manifested itself in such a pitiful way. We are seeing an unprecedented increase in the number of suicides or suicide attempts, especially among the young! That’s scary stuff isn’t it! We wonder how they do not know how valuable to they really are … especially to the Lord! We read every day of the dangers of and ever-expanding opioid crisis and the church, real people, real families, real kids are involved and it is those kids and are society that desperately need the truth of God’s Word!
A plethora of additional social ills are plaguing our county and the world and the root of the problem lies in the truth that people … people both young, middle-aged, and older are looking for joy, meaning to life, and happiness in the wrong place!
By any definition, in any dictionary, we come face to face with the fact that selfishness is nothing more or less than the attitude of being concerned with one’s own interests above the interests of others including God!
It is an exercise in futility to live this short life that we each have been given by a loving and caring God satisfying ourselves! What each of us must think about, pray about and resolve to do something about is to STOP being selfish and start being selfless in our thoughts, words, deeds and in the entirety of our lives!
Is this asking too much of ourselves? No … a thousand times No! It is rising up like the Phoenix and becoming more and more every day like our Savior, Friend, Shepherd, and Lord! “Oh to be like Thee” has never been more relevant!
C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are only two kinds of people in the end; those who say to God “Thy will be done” and those to whom God says, in the end “Thy will be done.””
“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)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.