We live in a self-centered society. There are so many crazy messages being thrown around about self through movies, books, magazines, websites, and social media — and that’s just to name a few. ‘How to live your best life now,’ ‘how to get people to notice you,’ and ‘how to self promote,’ are just a few of the memos people are getting today.
In this age of social media, it’s easy to see that self is all the rage. It’s the number of likes you get on a post. The amount of followers you have on Instagram. How many times you got re-tweeted. And heck, who hasn’t taken at least one selfie in their lifetime?
And even if you think you’re “not that person” on social media, what about in your everyday life? Maybe it’s the clothes you wear to draw attention. Or the way you do your makeup to get the looks. The sport you play that you hate, but only do because it makes you look cool.
Obsession with self is a real thing. And because people look for satisfaction and worth in the things of this world, they think that those things will satisfy. Like fashion. Or fitness. Academics. Money. Fame. And if one thing doesn’t satisfy them or make them feel good about themselves, they move on to the next.
As Christians, this is not how we’re called to live. This is not what we’re made for. We’re not made to life selfishly. We’re not called to live like those people. And hey, the world will hate us for it. They’ll hate how different you are. We’re not promised that the world will love us (John 15:18). But He loves us. That’s all that matters.
We are called to live as our Savior lived. To walk as he walked. Christ became poor for our sake. He came down from heaven — separated from his Father — for us. He was selfless so that we might become rich in him (2 Corinthians 8:9). He wasn’t worried about his own selfish needs and wants. Instead was worried about the needs of others.
We’re to show the light of Christ in our lives — living selflessly is one step towards victory through Him. So think of others, just as Christ did. Put their needs before yours. Make an effort to do something for another person before yourself. Don’t withhold. Serve.
“One of the most effective ways of conquering [selfishness] is to make a rule that, whenever we are tempted to dwell on self, we will at once begin to dwell upon the Lord instead.” Hannah Whitehall Smith
Whenever you are tempted to be self-centered, look to Christ instead of yourself. He is the one who made you. He understands your temptations, because he was tempted. Ask Him to help and sustain you. He will sanctify you and make you more like Himself day by day.
Living selflessly in a self-centered world is not easy. It’s not a button you can switch on or off. It’s a decision you have to make. You’re either all in, or all out. You can’t be on the fence. And remember, you can’t do it on your own without His help. Though it may not seem like it at first, living selflessly has its eternal rewards (Luke 14:11).
In closing, I want you to keep these truths in mind whenever you are tempted to fall into selfish desires:
- You are created in His image (Genesis 1:27, Ephesians 2:10). Though unique, you shine the light of your Creator through yourself, as others who walk in the faith.
- Your ultimate purpose is to please your King, not others (1 Samuel 16:7).
- Your heart is more important than your looks (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
- Your inward appearance is far more important than your outward (1 Timothy 4:8).
- You are called to serve others – look to towards the interests of them, not yourself. (Philippians 2:4).
- Glory goes to God alone (Psalm 115).
- He must increase (John 3:29).
- Great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12).
- Your life is on display in front of the whole world – are you fearing the Lord God and living for Him with all that’s in you, living selflessly and serving others (Proverbs 1:7, 31:30)?
Friends, it’s your choice. Will you live like the self-centered world, or will you be transformed by the word of God and live up to His standards by living selflessly?
+ LET’S GET CHATTY
How can you make steps toward living selflessly today?