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  • Manoj Pillai

selfishness

Human beings are very selfish by nature; very egocentric. But God does not want His people to remain that way. All sin is actually selfishness; all sin is choosing to give into something that you want, that you feel serves you in that moment. This can also be called “egotism.” This is a completely natural tendency, which all humans have rooted very deeply in them. But, we are called to follow in Jesus’s footsteps, to live our lives as He lived His, by overcoming sin. We are not meant to be “trapped” by our human tendencies, with no way out. Following in Jesus’ footsteps is only attainable if we decide to give up living for ourselves and live completely for God’s will in our life instead of our own:Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit (Philippians 2:3). Being selfish instead of denying sin when we are tempted, makes us extremely unhappy: For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:16). When we choose to be selfish in any way (e.g. being greedy, being jealous instead of rejoicing for others, doing those things we know to be wrong), we will continue to be stuck in the cycle of being frustrated, lost, unable to make spiritual progress, and unhappy. Making selfish choices will result in a lost connection and life with God; we cannot have it both ways. We cannot keep a little bit of our life (living to serve our own will) and also live for God. That mindset is called doublemindedness: “purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8) and God will not give His blessing to such people (Revelation 3:16). To abide in love is to flee all selfishness: When we overcome sin in our own personal lives, we are saving ourselves, and also helping those around us. (1Timothy 4:16). We don't put others first only when we feel like it, or when we feel people deserve goodness. We act in love always, for Jesus’s sake, because we love Him, so we want to follow His commandments always. Every person is either a servant to God, or to their own natural tendencies and sin. (Romans 6:16). Being a servant to God brings happiness and help to people and the world, and best of all, inner transformation in ourselves that can never be taken away from us. We become more and more free from our own sin. Being a slave to our selfishness leads to loss and emptiness. God wants us to live the happiest, most fulfilling life possible: “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). That is exactly what we get when we live for Him instead of for ourselves.

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