PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I think most of us would agree—we don’t like to think of ourselves as selfish. We all know selfishness is a less-than-desirable quality. And yet, we all have varying degrees of it.
Personally, I want to believe I’m a generous, giving, unselfish person. And there are those who would say I am. (I’m not related to any of them.) Besides, I know me. I know the me that loves to live in her own little bubble, putting my blinders on so that I’m oblivious to any need or expectation someone else may have.
In Philippians 2:3-4 CSV, it says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
It’s a tall order. It goes against our natural instincts to consider others as more important than ourselves. While we may talk the talk of being less worthy than someone else, when push comes to shove—if it comes down to “me vs. them,” self-preservation kicks in.
Most of the time. Of course, there are those heroic moments when someone puts themselves in harm’s way for another. But you know why those stories are so newsworthy? It’s because they are the exception, not the rule.
The idea of humility as an attribute is still a bit of a wary concept. After all, we live in the world of “Look out for #1,” which my husband will tell you is one phrase that makes me bristle every time I hear it. And of course, we know of those incredibly successful people for whom humility is non-existent because it’s their arrogance that equips them to be fearless in their pursuit to get to the top.
Yet, selflessness (as opposed to selfishness) requires humility and it’s a quality that God holds very dear. Jesus Himself said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11 CSB).
There’s just no room for humility in selfishness. There is no way to be selfless without a generous portion of humility. It’s a dichotomy that our world struggles with… Our world talks a good game about doing for others, but if that’s what we believe, then why are so many struggling?
I read an article a week ago about a multimillionaire in Hollywood who declared that she was ashamed of her wealth, yet there was no mention of her turning it over to help the rampant homeless problem in Los Angeles… a problem that is becoming so severe, health officials are worried about bubonic plague.
Let that sink in for a minute.
The problem with our selfishness, coupled with our self-delusions that we are selfless, results in a raging case of hypocrisy.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many who love being called a hypocrite.
My point in all of this is a reminder to me, to you, to all Christians—Jesus came in humility to serve. He was as selfless as you can get by shedding His coat of divinity and lowering Himself to be on our level. He died for us in the most selfless act that ever occurred. And He has called us to be His hands and feet. To shed our own selfish natures and offer ourselves to others in humility that they may see Jesus in us and through us.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for modeling humility for us. Thank Him for the ultimate example of selflessness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you embrace humility so that others can see Jesus. Ask Him to help you fight the temptation of selfishness and offer yourself to those in need.