Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4: 21-24
As a parent and a grandparent, I have seen the pattern repeated again and again. No one has to teach a newborn to look after his or her own interests. When a baby cries someone comforts him. When she cries the baby receives the food she needs. It is easy for the baby to learn that the universe revolves around the baby.
Most of us no longer cry to have our every desire fulfilled, but selfishness has a way of hanging around, doesn’t it?
The definition of selfishness includes being “devoted to or caring only for oneself – looking out for one’s own interests and benefits regardless of the impact of others.”
Self gets in the way of what God wants to do in our lives. Paul addresses the “spiritual superstar” who has great abilities to speak or preach and the person who displays great faith or sacrifices his life or possessions and is doing it outside of Love is nothing. Selfish, maybe, but still nothing.
In our families, we may either be selfish ourselves or struggle with someone close to us who demonstrates the me-first mentality.
Paul writes that the Love of Christ “is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; ”
Look at that list again. Can you ask to be more patient with your family? Can you be kinder? These verses are loaded with powerful ideas….and then we’re told that Love “does not insist on having its own way.”
How do you respond to the thought of selfishness in your own life or in the life of your family? How can you respond today in Love?