Welcome to another podcast. This is Dreamwalker1960.
In this past week I have continued to run into different encounters with a type of selfishness. Each different according to who was involved, but still a type of selfishness. To confess there are even times when I suffer from this affliction. I was led to this verse as I asked the Lord for His guidance with these encounters.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 – You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
Does any of this sound familiar? Unless you live in a glass bottle it should. The very first example Paul gave to Timothy was that people would be selfish. The thing is the other examples he gives aren’t independent items. They are basically definitions of selfishness. They are selfish behavior. They are the spawns of selfishness, and since we are told to avoid those that live this way they are obviously living in sin.
In one encounter I had recently the person said that in essence since God was in him then he was a god. Now in 1 Corinthians the Bible does say this.
Chapter 6 Verses 19-20 – Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
This verse is telling us not to treat our bodies in a way that will not sully God. By entering into any sin we make ourselves unclean and since the Holy Ghost is within us when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our bodies become a temple unto to God.
Why was the temple made?
For humans to have a place to interact with their Creator, God. This interaction is facilitated with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like a cellphone to God, and since God is Holy the Spirit with which He uses to commune with us is holy.
When Christ died for our sins upon the cross the veil that divided the Holy of Holy’s from all of humanity was torn. So now we all have access directly to God through Jesus Christ who then sent to us the Holy Ghost. (John 15:26)
In our part of this relationship with God through His Son Jesus we are to actively seek Him out through prayer and understanding that can be found within the Bible, as well as to follow all the teachings that are within it. The Holy Spirit is who imbues us with this knowledge. As we grow in our relationship with God through the blessing of the Holy Ghost. God helps us in our everyday life.
As an example. Me, in my everyday job have to do some stuff that at times is difficult to accomplish. Yet I pray and suddenly I am given insight into a way to accomplish the goal in an easier manner. This is God speaking to me through the Holy Ghost that is within me.
I do not think I am god because I suddenly received this method to accomplish my goal. Yet as I mentioned before there are those that do think they are god or that god is within them and so they think they are greater than anyone else because of it.
That is not god that is ego, which is selfishness.
The very first commandment is not to place any other god before God. Yet on a daily basis that is what millions of people do. Many of which profess they are Christian. The moment someone beliefs that god is within them and in turn get a swelled head over it, they are breaking that commandment. As reflected in 2 Timothy 3:4.
Paul makes it clear that those that keep the faith and belief that God is God and that His Son is our Savior, who then sent us the Holy Spirit through His Father to allow us to commune with Him and His Father with the Holy Ghost, will suffer. And those that are false and selfish are the truly evil they will flourish. For only those of the world are rewarded of the world, and those of God are rewarded their due when God ordains. Some rewards may be here, but we are to strive to make it that the majority is in the eternal life we are promised by seeking not to be selfish in this reality we now live within.
This is what Paul instructed the Philippians:
1 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
Our focus of our lives shouldn’t be around ourselves. We are to be humble never high-minded thinking we are greater than any other human in existence. For those that consider themselves greater than another human being are in actuality crowning themselves their own god. Placing themselves upon a throne made of straw that will burn into ashes when the time comes to stand before the Lord God Almighty who is the true God and only God, our Creator.
Time and again we are told within the Bible to not place ourselves first in anything we do. But to have the concerns of our fellow humans before our own. That is why it is so easy for those that live the lives as described in 2 Timothy, as they try to take advantage of those that try to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and His disciples.
They are so wrapped up in their own lives that they are blind to the Truth. They see everything through their perspective, which is tainted with their lusts, desires and hatreds. They believe that all think as they do and find it impossible to think that others believe and think differently. Does any of this sound family?
That is not how those that have accepted salvation through Jesus Christ think.
I will end with this:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
This is something that the Bible teaches over and over again to avoid.
“I” want this.
“I” want that.
“I” want to have sex because it feels good.
“I” don’t have time for a baby so “I” will abort it.
Selfishness the core to all sin. From the word “I” comes lust. A lust for power, a lust for pleasure, a lust for possessions, a lust to control.
“I” is what we are told time and again to turn from, to avoid. We are told to humble ourselves. To place others needs before our own. To place God first which means to ignore the word “I” when seeking to do God’s works.
The greatest commandments:
1) Love and honor God above all else and all others.
2) To treat our neighbors as we would desire to be treated.
Then the rest of the Ten Commandments follow these two.
The Ten Commandments, the preamble to the laws given unto Moses upon Mt. Sinai. None of which say to place yourself first in anyway shape or form.
We must learn not to please the “I” but to please God. To be truly humble is to never place yourself before anyone or anything for as long as you place the “I” above all else you are guaranteed to fall short of God’s glory.
So remember the next time you say to yourself “I” wish to do this or that it would be best that you didn’t do it at all, most likely.
James 4:6 – But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Matthew 23:12 – And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Why would someone say selfishness is the ultimate sin? When you think on it, you will realize that it really is. From selfishness, there is theft. From selfishness, there is strife between people and nations. From selfishness, there is even murder and war.
Jesus I believe knew that selfishness was this bad as well. Why I say that is how he framed the statement “Do unto to others, as you would have others do unto you.” You see he framed the wording to come from a selfish person’s perspective. Why? Become he was talking mostly to the sinner. How YOU wish to be treated is how YOU should treat others and if YOU do so, YOU will receive it.
This is a major point in what I post on these blogs. I mention selfishness many times. I mention that we are not to be selfish and are to do as the gold rule states. If we truly practice this type of behavior everywhere every day this world would truly be a better place.
Just take for example an everyday event like going through the drive through window at a fast food restaurant. I will give you two examples and you decide which is selfish and which is not.
Person A gets into line then places their car in park to save gas. Cars in from of them move up as other cars behind them pull in to get food. The person parked lets three car lengths open before them and then decides to look up from their cellphone to see the that line has moved. They then slowly move up. They then place their order, taking several minutes to do so. Then they finish and the line in front of them moves up to three car lengths again. They then again look up from their cellphone and slowly move up, stopping a full car length behind the person in front of them. When they finally arrive at the window, they get their food and then set there several minutes examining their food. They attempt to give back the food but it is given right back since it is what they ordered. They then pull away from the window slowly. (This is an actual occurrence I witnessed)
Person B pulls in the line in the drive thru. The car in front of them moves up and so move up with them. The person in front of them gets to the point to order their food. Person B looks at the menu from where he/she sets and decides what they wish to order. The person in front moves forward and they move up and quickly order their food then proceeds to move up behind the person in front of them allowing the person now behind them to order their food. Person B keeps the line moving. When they get to the window they have their method of payment ready and receive their food then pull away.
The selfish person’s actions can cause others about them to become angry. They do not care, for all that is important to them is themselves. When people only care for themselves then they are not thinking of God first and so are not truly Christian if they profess to be one. Actions speak louder than words. It is these actions, which we are all to stand to account for on the day of final judgment. Who will get to live an eternity traveling the universe and who will live forever in an uncomfortably warm place?
It can only change if you change the way someone thinks.
But how is this done?
In the book of Mark it is made clear that the heart of humans is corrupt and that only evil can come from it.
Then how can you change the way someone thinks if only corruption can be found within them?
They must be willing to ask something better than themselves into their hearts, but what is it that can be better than a human?
Other people? No, for all humans are corrupt.
Laws made by humans? No, for it came from humans.
At this point many say then there is nothing left.
Sorry, wrong answer.
God is real, His teachings are real, His Son is real and He walked amongst us so that He could first hand understand just how corrupt we humans are.
He never sinned even though He felt their temptation. He died in our place. For every single person that wishes to accept Him as their Savior, and once they have done so we change. We are born again. Not into a new body, but within our very soul.
No longer is the self the top priority, but those about us are and only after God. For placing God first we understand that we must place all others before ourselves and when doing so the self becomes unimportant.
And so the world can start to change.
What is sad is that more and more refuse to listen to this. More and more embrace their own desires, their own lusts and so in some cases terrible thinks to place. Murders, theft, the killing of the innocent. All because most only think of and care only for themselves.
Selfishness is as the core of all the evils humans are capable of, and only Jesus Christ can change that and thus the world.
Turn from your sins, repent and turn away to live in sin no more and learn how to think in a new and glorious way that give honor unto the creator of everything — God.
A recurring theme throughout my life has been the desire to respect others. Sure, some parts of my personality can be a thorn to some, but who amongst us can say that is not true for any person. In my early teens, I allowed my peers to turn my heart to hardness. This lasted until I was in my mid-twenties. One thing that I know marked these years was the mere fact that I had become selfish and self-serving.
When I became born again at twenty-six the man, what I should have been came back into existence. A man that God knew and recognized. (See my post “Overwhelming sin” to understand what I meant by this statement). The man returned to what the boy I had been before I allowed my peers to turn me into what I had become in the dark years.
I learned to give into my desires and wants in those years. I allowed myself to listen to only myself. Not caring if I hurt people. Many of these people were girls and women, especially when I turned eighteen.
Regret is one thing that has crossed my mind more than once over the last quarter of a century plus. Sometimes this regret causes me to do things that help others. Then there are times this regret has made me avoid situations out of fear they may be a repeat of something from my past that I do not wish to go through again. I feel these regrets are due to me trying to think of others before myself.
Too many times in the Bible we are told be humble, placing others before ourselves. The emphasis is too poignant that true faith requires humility, thus selflessness. When you are selfish, you are not acting for God. When thinking of your own desires no matter how little or big you have placed yourself before others.
I really think it is in all of us to be humble. I know I was humble when I was a child and had forgotten it due to pain and humiliation. How I returned to it is where free-will comes into play. I felt wrong from my behavior. I felt more guilt as I became more selfish. I do not know if others experience this and hide it, but it allowed me to face myself and realize this is not what God wanted for me or us for that matter. So I chose through the act of free-will to return to what I was taught in my youth.
I know I am not perfect. No human can ever be perfect. I know I have overcome sins that would have turned me into someone other then what I am. I know not only that it was God, but an inner strength that has allowed me to grow into the man I am today. Where did I get this inner strength? From my trials I have face throughout my life. Without these trials, I feel I would in no way be the man I am today.
All I do know is that the man that types these words today is in fact someone who deserves to be call a man, since there is a difference between being male and being a man. It is by God and for God that I am here, and I praise Him for that.