We are living in a self centered culture. Everything focuses upon individuals thinking about, “What do I get?”, and “What’s in it for me?” As we talk to individuals it is not hard to notice the egotistical conversations and the self-willed conduct of people. The challenge is, “How do we help them overcome this selfish destructive nature?” In Philippians 2: 2-3, the Apostle Paul exhorts the believers that they should not do things out of selfish ambition, they are to leave their selfishness and to:
- be like-minded,
- have the same love for others,
- be one in spirit and purpose,
- do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
- consider, in humility, others better than yourselves,
- look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
It is one thing to tell people they are selfish, or to even get people to admit that they are self-centred, but the greater challenge is, how do help people to change? How do we help free people from the inherent selfish nature within them? When Paul challenges the Philippian church, to leave behind their selfishness and to have true concern for others, he appeals to what should be common Christian experiences. He starts his challenge towards caring for others, by focusing on their “encouragement from being united with Christ”, the “comfort from His love”, and the “fellowship with the Spirit” (Phil 2:1 NIV). The motivation for being more concerned about others was based upon the strength of these three experiences. As individuals consistently draw upon the encouragement which comes from our relationship with Christ, the comfort of God’s love being upon us and the rich fellowship with God’s Holy Spirit, then we will sense the fullness of God and there will be less focus on ourselves or less attempts for getting the fullness of ourselves. Take time today to focus upon the encouragement which our Lord Jesus has to offer you, ask the Lord to help you see His great love towards you, and take time to commune with the Holy Spirit. May these realities help break the power of selfishness within you.