This attitude is what others display when they will not let you have your way. It is the up-and-coming wave with which children are being raised. Children are becoming so wrapped up in “ME”, they cannot se their neighbors. I have been told the reason many adults and children act as they do cannot be their fault. They either have or are currently suffering from some traumatic stressful circumstances in the “environment” in which they live. Did not Jesus say, “In the world ye have tribulation” (John 16:33), and right after that, say, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”? Did Jesus have a bad childhood? Did He suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Did He have a poor self-image? Was He demonstrating humility and obedience to His Father?
Selfishness is a daily problem which leads to the increasing numbers of those who will enter the broad way into destruction (Matthew 7:13,14). Satan is behind those increasing numbers. He feeds selfishness intravenously through they heart and soul of man by means of TV commercials, radio programs, song lyrics, modern philosophies, etc. “I owe it to myself...no one cares about you but you...do it for yourself” are often the words heard and believed. Satan wants you to “feel good” about yourself, and he believes everyone should be tolerant of your behavior. People need to accept you for who you are. If you feel good about yourself, why cannot other people? Satan also promotes the idea that if anyone is intolerant of your conduct, then you should exercise your “RIGHTS”. No one should take from you that which denies you of being who you are. Satan wants you to come away a winner, but every time you submit to selfishness, you lose the battle. You do WHAT self wants WHEN self wants and HOW self wants, even if it hurts others.
Selfishness starts close to the day of one’s birth. You did not care whether it was day or night, or whether Mom or Dad were tired, cold, hot, sick, hungry, as long as you got what you wanted when you wanted it. This does not mean we all sinned and immediately needed to be “sprinkled” or “baptized”. Selfishness is something we learned, and it becomes a natural thing. You were not aware you were out of control. You had to learn self-control.
You learned self-control the first time your parents told you to share when you really did not want to, to wait your turn, or to let someone else go first. You later fought selfishness in the back yard playing basketball. At school, you were refused and turned down by a girl you asked out for a date. In the work place, a company denied you an opportunity to work for them. In marriage, your spouse failed to do things as you liked them done. As we lost those battles with selfishness and someone else wins, there is a tendency to be stubborn and rebel. The recurring thought becomes, “I’ll get you...show you...sue you...you’ll pay for that.”
If selfishness gets its way, it must act aggressively. Its actions are all classified under one heading - SIN. False pride, sexual indulgence, greed, and uncontrolled tongue, laziness, irresponsibility, manipulation, and taking advantage of those people who resist a person’s selfishness are all sins that live within the heart and life of the self-indulgent person. Many have exchanged salvation, joy, hope, marriage, reputation, and heaven for selfishness. Selfishness is not a pretty picture in the church, family, or society. We need to set out to conquer such behavior. (To be continued…)