Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dealing with Selfishness

I have a confession to make, I can be very selfish. But my guess is that I’m not only the only one…just the only one foolish enough to admit it in a blog. But I think recognition is the first step toward change.

After all, if you can’t recognize your own faults then how can you ever change them? So when I receive these painful but enlightening spotlights on my character flaws, I actually feel pretty thankful.

I started thinking about why I can be selfish. Is it just my sin nature or does it go deeper than that? When I know the right thing to do but I don’t “feel” like it or I am not thrilled with the idea of going out of my comfort zone, is this something that is so deep rooted it’s going to take spiritual surgery to correct it?

I would like to say yes, that this is something God is working on and it will take some time before I see victory. But the reality is that this is something that can be changed in an instant.

There are some struggles that truly are deep rooted and will require time and other work before we can ever see victory but there are also some things that we know victory is around the corner…it’s a matter of whether or not we will embrace it.

This past week I spent a few hours in my kitchen preparing a meal for my friends. One of them went through bypass surgery and is home recuperating. When the request came through to serve them a meal, there was no hesitation. These were my friends and I cared about them.

But I have to admit, that in times past when I have received similar requests I have turned them down. Why? I didn’t really know the person, so I wasn’t willing to be “inconvenienced.”

I’m not a fan of cooking. So to do something for someone else that I normally don’t enjoy doing for my own family is not my idea of fun. But that is very selfish and although in the past I failed to recognize that…I do now.

What is the point to this? Not just to point out my faults to you but to encourage others to examine their own heart and see if there are any areas of selfishness that you need to work on. I know that it’s not the desire of God for this to be within any of us.

Selfishness can take on all different forms, from insisting that you are always right in an argument to seeing a need and refusing to do your part. Selfishness is generally an issue for most of us but it is something we can change.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

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