What About Me?
Recently I was going over my list with God of how selfish some people can be. I was really going at it. I was tired of it and I wanted God to do something about it. There I was posed for His assurances that He would take care of it for me when out of the blue He asked, What about you?
Wait just a minute. In all the situations I was describing I was the selflessone. I wasn’t acting the way the others were. What could God mean? ThenI read a prayer written by a Puritan hundreds of years ago.
Man’s Great End
Lord of All Being,
There is one thing that deserved my greatest care, that calls forth my ardent desires, that is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made—to glorify thee who has given me being, and to do all good I can for my fellow men; verily, life is not worth having if it be not improved for this noble purpose.
Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind! Most men seem to live for themselves, without much or any regard for thy glory, or for the good of others; They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue the riches, honours, pleasures of this life, as if they supposed the wealth, greatness, merriment, could make their immortal souls happy; but, alas, what false delusive dreams are these!
And how miserable ere long will those be that sleep in them, for all our happiness consists in loving thee, and being holy as thou art holy. (The Valley of Vision , The Banner of Truth Trust, 2006)
So, what about me? No doubt I can find lots of evidence of selfish behavior in the people I know in this world. Selfishness abounds. It should not surprise me to find selfishness everywhere I look. Selflessness, on the other hand, begins with God and ends in understanding others’ selfish behaviors and doing good to them whether they are too selfish to notice or not.
Philippians 2:3-11 describes,
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
I think God wants me to look at the numerous ways that I am selfish towards Him and not worry so much about my brother’s selfishness. What do you think?