Don’t Be Selfish

Don’t Be Selfish

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.”

I love this passage because it conquers the flesh. It is everything opposite of human nature. It is God! You and I were born selfish. The problem is sin. It produces selfishness. No effort is needed to be this way it’s automatic. We inherited it from our first parent Adam along with a host of other evils:

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12 NIV

UNSELFISHNESS

Because we are naturally inclined to be selfish God’s Spirit is needed to be the opposite.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Everything about God is unselfish. HE HAS DONE AND STILL DOES FOR US THINGS HE DOESN’T HAVE TO DO! God is so good He even takes care of His enemies:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. HE CAUSES HIS SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 NIV

God shows us the best way to live, it is by imitating Him. Those who have the faith to obey His commands know just how much following Jesus’ teachings benefits them. When we live by the Spirit and go against our flesh we always experience blessings, and some very pleasant surprises. If we hang in there with Jesus and do not give up we will understand what He means when He says:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

SHOW KINDNESS TO THE UNTHANKFUL AND EVIL?

“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:35-36 KJV

Jesus raises the bar; He commands that we do good to others expecting nothing in return, even the unthankful and evil. Yes, that includes those who hate your guts. That’s a lot for the selfish flesh to digest sometimes. But we (God’s children) are growing into the image of Jesus Christ who is the epitome of unselfishness. Have we come to realize yet that our very existence is to glorify God? What awesome rewards and joys we receive when we obey Him! When we’re loving, generous, and compassionate, we are walking with God. Here are some wonderful verses to ponder regarding this:

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV

“And if your brother becomes poor and is not able to make a living, then you are to keep him with you, helping him as you would a man from another country who is living among you. Take no interest from him, in money or in goods, but have the fear of your God before you, and let your brother make a living among you. Do not take interest on the money which you let him have or on the food which you give him. I am the Lord your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, that I might be your God.” Leviticus 25:35-38 BBE

“Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.” Psalms 41:1‭-‬3 ESV

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.)”  2 Corinthians 9:6-9 KJV

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