These two words go hand in hand…and the true measure of who someone is in Christ is the ratio of how they apply them to their lives.
Selfishness is something that we all become familiar with when we are children. Children are versed in being selfish at times – mostly when there is a toy they want to play with. Look at a group of young children and you will usually find selfish behavior, and parents spend many hours on trying to teach their little ones the importance of sharing.
Being selfish carries over to our adult lives as well. We find ourselves wanting what is best for us, not necessarily for others. We will even walk away from situations when we have a feeling that it will not turn out in our favor. We have a problem…look at Biblical examples:
Judas – He let his selfishness get the best of him, enough so that he was willing to trade Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
Jonah – was asked to go and preach to the people of Ninevah. He ran, was swallowed by a fish, and then finally made it to minister. This is where we stop the story most of the time…we neglect to mention the selfish nature of Jonah after he ministered to the people. He then went up on a hill and waited for the destruction to come, because he wanted nothing more than to prove he was right.
Selfishness runs rampant throughout our country today, with people seeking their own benefit, and never giving of themselves to help others…never being selfless.
Selflessness comes from putting others before ourselves. People who are selfless will give you the shirt they are wearing if they believe you can benefit from it better than they can.
There are a number of people today who live selfless lives, giving to charity, giving of their time and money to benefit others. There are a number of people who are even willing to give of their lives so that others can hear the Gospel. One of the best examples that I can think of today is a missionary. Someone who gives up the life that they have here to travel to a run down, third world country to minister to people who have never heard the good news of Jesus.
These are people who understand what being a Christian is all about…people who imitate Christ Himself…many of whom would die for the cause of their Savior.
Christ gave all He had to save a lost and dying world…He came to seek and save the lost, obeying His Father to the point of being hung on a cross for sins He didn’t commit. Jesus was the best example of selfless living that we can find to exemplify how our lives should be modeled.
Our true heart is shown in which of these we live the most. Each of us has both selfish and selfless tendencies, but which are we seeking? Are you seeking your own? Or, are you seeking to follow in the footsteps of Jesus?
Examine your heart, which are you? I challenge you to be selfless rather than selfish, just as Jesus was.