Defeating Selfishness


There are several spiritual weapons available to defeat selfishness. The following passages will help in the battle to eliminate one of Satan’s greatest allies to win you to his side:

Matthew 5:38-42. If someone hits you or takes something from you, the most common and “acceptable” response would be to hit them or take from them. You could do as the Pharisee and back up your actions with an Old Testament passage giving you the “right” to take vengeance. There is no question being slapped is an insult. It is also hard to deal with people who are constantly asking of you time and energy, when they could readily do it themselves. Jesus says we can exceed this false sense of righteous retaliation if we “resist not him that is evil” and show the spiritual toughness to “turn the other cheek.” Go beyond what is necessary. Do not carry a chip on your shoulder. Be cheerful, not bitter. People may make funny remarks about you. They may slander, mock, and insult you, but do not suffer as they do for their gossip, lying, stealing, or hatred (1 Peter 4:1-4, 14-16).

Philippians 2:3-5. A lot of the faction and strife that exists in the church, family, etc. comes from those uninterested in the things of others. The selfish person looks for what makes him better rather than others. Did Jesus show that same attitude? Did he come to the earth wanting all His needs met, people to bend over for Him, and stir up trouble if no one ever paid attention to Him? His mind was humble, serving, and denying. He looked to make others better; that is Christianity. Look at what the other person needs. Consider what is bothering him. Rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with them that weep (Romans 12:15). Selfishness needs to learn more about sacrificing for others rather than striving with others. In Romans 15:1-3, we can learn: HOW God wants us to be (v. 1); WHAT to do (v. 2); and the REASON for doing it (v. 3).

Galatians 2:20. God’s ultimate weapon against selfishness is self-sacrifice. It is based on Romans 12:1,2, where we are taught to be living sacrifices. It is a planned lifestyle that renders more than occasional acts of sacrifice. It is always asking, “What can I do for God?” instead of “What do I have to do for God?” It is a hand reaching to help rather than waiting to be held. It is the heart that serves willingly anytime and not just when it is convenient. Jesus showed us how sacrificing is done in Philippians 2:6-8, and God rewarded Him richly (vv. 9,10). Jesus also stated for us how it is done in John 12:25: “The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.