What does it mean to be selfish? Google says being selfish is lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Do you view yourself as selfish? I think many of us would think that we are not selfish people when we are a lot more selfish than we think. Do others think we are selfish? Often, we are blind to seeing faults in ourselves but are quick to see them in others.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
This past year in my life has been truly incredible but a major eye-opener for me. My wife and I had our first child and it has been an awesome roller coaster. Parents out there, you know what I am talking about. I have always been pretty selfish. I think mostly about my wants or comforts. I did not like to go out of my way for others. There are times that I do those things for others, but I often do not like to go out of my comfort. This past year has taught me a ton about being selfless. I thank God for the lessons learned through fatherhood and being a husband through everything.
A father is called to ultimately be a selfless leader. There are many times I would rather be selfish. There were many times I did not want to help my wife with our daughter. There were many times that I did not want to change those poopy diapers. There were many times that I did not want to do the dishes. Many times, I would come home from work and I would just want to relax like I used to before we had our daughter, but that was something that I could no longer do. I love my wife and daughter. This love drove me to learn to combat my selfishness in many ways. I try my best to put them first in every way, but it is not always easy. I want to show them my love for them through my actions. I want my actions to show Christ’s love to them. I want to be the example of my Heavenly Father to my family and show Him through me.
Philippians 2:5-8 continues, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
The world tells you to be selfish. The world tells you to only care about yourself and do what you want. The world will tell you to not do something that is out of your comfort or out of your way. Follow your own heart is one of the biggest lies the world will sell. Your heart is selfish. Jesus, however, shows us perfect love. Jesus shows us the perfect example of unselfish love. Jesus never sinned once, yet He sacrificed Himself in our place on the cross. He died the death we deserve. Even though Jesus is God, He took the place of the lowly sinner to save us from our sin. Jesus shows us the ultimate example of love, sacrifice, and being unselfish.
No matter what life stage you are in, I am willing to bet you need to work on your selfishness. We need to look to God and others first with our thoughts and actions. We need to put God first in our lives because He put us first in His. We need to put others first because God calls us to show His love to others. Let us look to have the same mindset of Jesus, our Lord, in all of our thoughts and actions. It is not easy, but we can learn from what Jesus did. We can look to Him for help.