Selfishness: Life or Death
I love my girls. I love that they are close in age without being twins, because that’s frightening. I love that Kenna loves Payson and Payson appears to love Kenna. She can’t talk yet so I’m still just guessing here.
I remember growing up with my brother who is 8 years younger than me, so I was an only child for 8 years. It was easy for me to fall into some selfish habits and do some very self centered things. One Christmas I remember and Beth just told this story the other day to someone. We had both gotten a decent bit of money for Christmas and I was old enough probably 12 or 13 if I was guessing that I thought I needed a tv in my room, but my parents said I had to buy my own. Well I didn’t have the money to buy the one I wanted so I go to my brother who is 4 or 5 mind you and say, “Sam, we should put our money together and buy a tv that we can share.” So of course being the little brother that he was he said yes and I got a tv that never spent a single day in his room, and I don’t think he ever used. That was pretty selfish of me.
Have you ever done something that was selfish or done something or said something that could be considered self centered? We as humans and especially Americans have this idea that we have to look out for ourselves and worry about our needs and wants above all else, but is that really the way it should be. Our we supposed to be happy, content, pleased, above all else, no matter the cost? So what is the opposite of selfishness? So we would agree the opposite of selfishness is generosity right??? What if I told you the opposite of selfishness is life because selfishness is death. Pretty strong right? Well let’s look at this.
Apparently, the people in the 1st and 2nd century struggled with selfishness too. So its not just us. In We find Paul talking to a crowd about this very subject. reads like this let’s start in verse 5...
5People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit. 6The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace. 7So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t. 8People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God.
9But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. 10If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. 11If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.
12So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness. 13If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the actions of the body, you will live.
What would it look like if we lived out the rest of this week with the idea of selflessness?