Selfish Posted bySaraNovember 11, 2011Posted inChristianity It is good to be Selfish? What do you think? Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
38 thoughts on “Selfish”
Definition of Selfishness (Brainy Quote)
The quality or state of being selfish; exclusive regard to one’s own interest or happiness; that supreme self-love or self-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regarding those of others.
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self……” (2Tim 3:1)
So I would answer….I think not!
Now the question is ALSO this: in light of the definition of selfish or selfishness and the quote from Timothy above, one of many scriptures on the subject, why do we Christians continue in self promotion, self-aggrandizement, ? We are to love ourselves , I believe, from the Scriptures…Love thy neighbor AS THYSELF which I take to mean, caring for our own needs and keeping our temples in “good condition” etc. But some of us are so self-deceived that we do not even realize we are promoting our own egos when we speak with others. or peddle, huckster & hawk our children to others, shamelessly.
“Love thy neighbor AS THYSELF which I take to mean, caring for our own needs and keeping our temples in â€œgood conditionâ€ etc.” Gee, does this mean, ‘look out for number ONE?
Maybe it might mean, “looking out for number one as long as one is able so that someone else will not be overburdened with it”
So it is GOOD to be selfish!
“Love thy neighbor AS THYSELF.” MG, could you explain a little more about how you see this. I am not quite clear on this, ie your understanding as stated above. I have never heard it in this light.
I don’t know how it could be good to be selfish. If we are going to follow Jesus He says we can’t be if I understand His definition of deny yourself.
The Message Bible translation makes it pretty clear I think:
“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” (Matt 16:24-26)
MG, your statement, “â€œlooking out for number one as long as one is able so that someone else will not be overburdened with itâ€…sounds like ‘better look out for self because no one else will.’ I have heard that often. But, doesn’t that derail the teaching of Jesus? Of course if my neighbor is not following Jesus than I better look out for myself. Is this right?
Debi quotes Matt. 16 Message; “What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? ” Now how do we get everything we want? I haven’t gotten that far along yet? Maybe it should say getting everything we possibly can for self to satisfy self! Whoopee, that sounds good!
Hum, selfish vs. selfless is sure harder than I thought from hearing this?
If Jesus loved neighbors as self, according to blog def. he would not have died a brutal death on a cross. No temple love in that. And, Paul got beat up, whipped, scorched, starved and cold, etc. Why didn’t Paul just buy a mansion in Jersaleum?
Why didn’t Jesus just set up a Kingdom with servants for himself and have people bow down to him?
This makes me think of the extreme sorrow and sadness for family, friends and fans that surrounded Michael Jackson’s death. He sure surrounded himself with beauty in his mansion and much care for his temple. Seeing pictures of his bedroom on TV shows much love of his desire for beauty and his love for others. Doctors, medication, and care were at his disposal. This tells me that when we take care of our temple with doctors of all kinds we already need the help of others. I think God intended for us to be interconnected to one another. Taking care of our physical bodies so often requires much money, time and services from others. Therefore, this gives me the idea that most of the time someone is helping to take care of us.
I sure have needed the help of many others to help take care of myself and my family. I am eternal grateful for the help.
I think this takes me back to blog on “sacred lines.”
“Its time for us to start moving out of the tents we have built ourselves and move in to Gods tent….”
quote from Brian’s FB
Q. How does one do this?
A. Brian Sawyer; tents have walls…which also are limitations….our tents represent our comfort zones as well. So we start seeking what God wants to do with our lives. Seeking to go and do what God wants us to do. Our comfort zones and our own “intellectual” limitations keep us from doing Gods will many times. God doesnt have limitations, and many times what God wants us to do doesnt make sense to us….so probably the way that one does this would be to Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God and realize that 1 Samuel 15:22 obedience is better than sacrifice.
Reply; thank you, Brian…awesome
Selfish sounds like the scripture Luke 12:18 NIV
“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
No heavenly treasures to account for here.
Good blogging! I’m learning!
My initial thoughts were to myself; am I being selfish for the time that I love reading God’s Word, staying in His presence and enjoying Him?
Hum? Pause and think! I’m still not sure about my selfishness…..I sure want a lot of time for meditation, reflection and praying! Hope I get my answers…
Brian writes, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Well, how do we do that? Do you think maybe we should, pray, read our Bibles, listen to the Holy Spirit’s instructions AND… not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear because These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but our heavenly Father already knows all our needs. First, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for us??.”
If we offer that maybe we should not go to work so that we can spend more time with Him we would be scoffed at. Paul says something about that that if one does not work one shouldn’t eat.
If we are sick, very sick and prayers for healing are not answered should we eventually go ahead and give up the ghost? If we are hungry and there is no food in the pantry should we hang out like Jeremiah under the broom tree and expect crows? i would think that we would find something to eat when hungry, finally go to a doctor when very ill and wear warm clothing in the snowy season.
But Sara is concerned that she is being selfish by spending TOO much time seeking GOD. The promise is that HE will provide all of our needs if we seek Him. If all our needs are not being met then maybe we are not spending ENOUGH time with Him.
After Gary’s good teaching on INTENTIONAL PRAYER I believe that is true for myself and have tried to spend more time and intensive time in intentional prayer.
My intent on saying in a comment above about taking care of our temples is that we should provide for ourselves for food, clothing and shelter, thanking God that HE is really the one through Whose auspices we have these basic needs met.
On a comment on Gary’s comment….Jesus did have followers who ministered to His needs through their wealth and finances as did Paul, and I am sure other Apostles although I am only familiar with Jesus & Paul’s being helped with finances, etc.
MG in your first comment you speak of ‘children’. I imagine as a teacher you experience quite a bit of this. Hope we can be a help to parents.
In some situations when a parent lives vicariously through his/her child/children it is usually the child who suffers the pains of a motherâ€™s/fatherâ€™s towering ambition. It is rational to think that a good parent wants the best and good success for the child. But it is irrational to stress out and put upon a young child urgings and aggressive, ambitious, forceful and presumptuous pressures.
In one situation, the parent insists that the child is of a great musical aptitude, endowed musically and is Music G/T (gifted & talented) and has â€œperfect pitch.â€ It is most embarrassing for the child and for the teacher(s) as the impromptu performance videos are pressed upon the teachers and the sales pitch comes forth to â€˜starâ€ this child in the school presentations over and over. The parent is obviously blind to the fact that there is no actual musical talent there. The mother is living in a dream worldâ€¦and itâ€™s her dream not the childâ€™s.
When parents push their children and, for lack of a better word, lie to the child or anyone else, about his/her talents or skillsâ€¦whether it be music and drama (that with which I deal frequently) or in sports or in art or in leadership, it is unfair to the child, her classmates and to all who have to deal with the situation.
When our children are our raison dâ€™etre (justification for our existence) that becomes a huge burden to the children and annoying and irritating to those around them.
I Corinthians 13, and verse 5 says: “LOVE is not rude, is not SELFISH”….. (New Century Version) And I believe there is a verse that says: “GOD is LOVE”, but I can’t locate that verse right now. (maybe someone could help me locate it?)
Hum, doesn’t sound like it’s “good to be selfish” , does it?????
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love 1Jn 4:8
Is this the Scripture you are looking for, Needles?
Yes, I think so, MG. Thanks.
I was pondering this. Is it selfish to decline to share about your family or your work or things that are happening in your life…a part of you…with those with whom you fellowship in Christ? i am not speaking about intimate details that are to be kept private but just little incidents or pleasant things that happen; little honors or praise that one receives. Or share thoughts about the Lord or scriptures that speak out to you? Is it selfish or wise?
I say “Wise…” to share. Now the forum, time and attitude would seem to me to be the round about of the sharing. Just my thoughts.
Communication, communication, communication is the voice to relationship….
And, boundaries….. communication and boundaries should say Wisdom….I would think!
Thank you. I believe, also, it is wise to share (with boundaries) and to communicate and be willing to…not forced. Also, I believe it is selfish to ask of others, their experiences, etc…. but not willing to share ‘yours’. Thanks
As you said….I would think……
MG, thinking about your above comment, I am reminded that a lady I know in NC has said something to this effect. In giving it some thought I would say it could be a two way street with both communicators driving, or a least wobbling on the wrong side of the road.
It is always wise to focus on communications. Keeping our thoughts, questions and sharing in a frame that can be seen and viewed by all. Sometimes we all talk without a thought to what we want to share or what we would like to hear. I think the thought from other comments here on Love; God is love might be the glue that holds the relationship together. If we know God we will love the ones we are communicating with and work a littler harder and longer for it to work.
Gary’s teaching today from Acts 26 tells an amazing story about Paul, King Agrippa and Festus. The King invited Paul to tell his story. Paul goes gusto with it when Festus stood up and interrupted Paul, saying, “you are out of your mind, Paul, he shouted. Your great learning is driving you insane.â€
Paul answered, â€œI am not insane, most excellent Festus,â€ Paul replied. â€œWhat I am saying is true and reasonable.’ This excellent communication continues on. Great story to read and share and learn communication skills.
So often we want to communicate on a baby goo goo level when we are mature or should be.
i think you have struck a chord with me on something. Needles’ comment on ‘God is love’….and yours. Sara. on “love is the glue”….we could AND DO speak to our Christian brothers and sisters (and moms and dads) saying ‘I love you’ but is it the kind of Love that Jesus has for His own? Is it the God kind of love? if it is the emotional “goo goo ga ga ” kind of love, soulish, emotional, touchy-feely kind that goes one way one day and another way if you cross me, then that must be what’s missing. Am I willing to sacrifice for my brothers and sisters? Am I willing to be wrong, falsely accused, thought to be “out of my mind” for the sake of Christ and the Agape’ love of God that 1 Cor. 13 talks about? If I love you because you do what I say, praise me, give me gifts, tell me how wonderful I am…..and then the gifts stop coming for some reason or other, the praise lessens because i am not acting the way I should act, and I am not looking so good to you in the spiritual sense, these days….Do I STOP LOVING YOU? NO! If it is agape’ love. And if we are mature in the spirit, as you say.
In thinking about Sara’s statement, “I sure want a lot of time for meditation, reflection and praying!” (as related to selfishness)… it seems to be linked to her viewpoint wisdom on communication…”If we know God we will love the ones we are communicating with and work a littler harder and longer for it to work.” If the motive and focus of meditation, reflection and prayer is to really know God so that the communication with others will be so precise that God’s heart and will is imparted through the communicator, than I don’t see how it can be selfish. This must be God’s real love coming through. If that meditation, reflection and prayer produces the framework of communication that Sara articulates above it seems to me to be selfless. God spoke and it was. God’s voice in the situation is so life-changing that it made the ‘deer give birth and stripped the forests bare’ (Psalm 29:9).
One should never forget it takes two to tango. We don’t communicate with walls. Communication when both are in the game is better than a football game! It’s fun!
Debi gives us insight into a scripture of how powerful the voice can be. Yes, having voice! Isn’t that what most of us desire?
I see your point, ‘it takes two to tango’. I would guess the dance is greatly enhanced by a skillful lead partner.
Wiki…”The tango is a dance which requires two partners moving in relation to each other, sometimes in tandem, sometimes in opposition. The meaning of this expression has been extended to include any situation in which the two partners are by definition understood to be essential — as in, a marriage with only one partner ceases to be a marriage.”
I was just thinking….reading all the above, that maybe there is a different slant on loving your neighbor as yourself. If it were selfish then I know that Jesus would not have given us the directive to love our neighbor as ourselves. However, looking at it another way….maybe it means….LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR “AS IF HE/SHE WERE YOUR SELF” (maybe???) I’m searching
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: â€˜Love your neighbor as yourself.â€™[b] There is no commandment greater than these.â€
One thing is clear I believe, that we are to Love God over and above others and ourselves. I have understood the loving God with all….is the key to loving your neighbor as yourself. There is no comparison to how you love God to others or yourself. I think the self-ish lifestyle at times might put us in competition with loving ourselves as we love God. Can’t see competition in these verses.
Love ourselves seems we want the benefits God gives us from loving Him and we would so desire, offer and give prayers and work toward our neighbors having the same benefits.
John 10:11 (NIV) “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” What greater love could one give another than having a friend called, Jesus. 1 John 3:16 (NIV) reads; “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
I see a clear picture of love and its called “Mt. Calvary”! When we meet the owner of this hill and introduce all humans that we can find we sure will find, have and can give love. As the song sings love, hope and new life;
“I believe that the Christ
Who was slain on the cross
Has the power to change lives today
For He changed me completely
A new life is mine”
Sara, the chorus to that lovely, touching the truth song:
I BELIEVE IN A HILL CALLED MT CALVARY
I’ll believe whatever the cost
And when time has surrendered and earth is no mre
I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross.
“…we would so desire, offer and give prayers and work toward our neighbors having the same benefits.” This makes love your neighbor as yourself very clear to me. Also, I think when activated it helps us understand who we are and realize our purpose in life.
Think on this neighbor story:
What a great humanitarian story. The commentator says, “helping your neighbor like we USED to do” (paraphrased). That woman looks like an angel, to me.
Thanks for sharing this video about this woman. She seems to be the perfect example of selflessness!
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For the good neighbor on the video, age did not seem to be a hindrance to her community or work or church attendence and it looked like she was still staying active in her vocation using her nursing skills. A great example.