Respectable Sins: 4 Manifestations of Selfishness | Part 4

In my last post in this series, I discussed how we are often selfish with our money. If you would like to read that post, you can do so by clicking here. Today I will deal with our selfishness regarding our consideration of others.

Our Consideration of Others

Those who are inconsiderate are really being selfish because the only consideration they have is for themselves. We see this in Philippians 1:15-17:

“Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.”

What are some areas in which we can be inconsiderate?

Being inconsiderate manifests itself in a number of ways, here are just a few:

  • Always being late When we make others wait, we are being inconsiderate of their time.
  • Talking too loudly on our cell phones – When we talk too loud on our phones in public, so that it disturbs those around us, we are being inconsiderate.
  • Being rude or indifferent to our waitress When we are rude or indifferent to others, we show that we do not care about their feelings. We only care about our own feelings. It takes almost no effort at all to say, “Thank you.” [1]

The Greatest Example of Unselfishness 

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the greatest example of unselfishness. In Philippians 2:5-11, we are told that He did not hold onto His position as God for His own selfish gain. Rather, He gave up certain privileges when He came to earth as a man. He then gave up His life, dying on the cross for the sin’s of mankind, so that we might have eternal life.

How do we Mortify Selfishness?

In order to kill selfishness, we need to reflect on the gospel. We must realize that we would not have a restored relationship with God or eternal life, if Jesus had not thought others more important than Himself and humbled Himself on the cross. Thinking on Jesus’ actions should spur us on to be selfless. So then, we should pray that the Holy Spirit would show us how we are selfish and give us the power to rid that sin from our lives. We should also preach the gospel to ourselves, reminding ourselves of Christ’s selflessness.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Does your daily interactions tell you that you are inconsiderate of others?
  2. What does Christ’s sacrifice tell us about how we should act?
  3. What form does selfishness take in your life?

Resources

[1] Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 105-106.

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Respectable Sins: 4 Manifestations of Selfishness | Part 3

In my last post in this series, I discussed how we are often selfish with our time. If you would like to read that post, you can do so by clicking here. Today I will deal with our selfishness regarding our money.

Our Money

America is one of the, if not the, riches countries in the world, but less than 2 percent of our money is given to charities or religious causes [1]. When we do give, it is often a minimal amount, and it is usually directed toward popular charities that have popped up as a result of a world disaster. The reason people typically give once to major popular causes rather than often to lesser known causes is because it makes them feel good, which is a form of selfishness.

Why is selfishness with our money a sin?

The reason selfishness with our money is a sin is because it is a form of greed (see Matt. 23:25). Here is what Paul has to say,

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Co 5:11)

Going even further, the underlying sin or motive of someone who is selfish with their money is at least three-fold.

First, there is a lack of trust in God. They do not trust Him to provide for their needs.

Second, there is a lack of joy in God. They seek happiness in the things money can buy, rather than in their relationship with the Lord.

Lastly, there is a lack of finding their status in Christ. Instead, they seek the status money affords them, showing they find their significance in what other people think about them.

What can we do to rid this sin from our lives?

I believe there are three things we can do:

First, we need to trust in the Lord. Realizing that He is the One who provides us with everything that we own, and He is the One who will take care of our needs.

Second, we need not find our happiness or joy in our money because it is fleeting. We only gain true joy from accomplishing our God given purpose in life, which is to serve and glorify God. Then and only then can we experiencetrue joy that is not fleeting or circumstantial. 

Lastly, we need to realize that what others think of us is not what should provide us with significance. Everyone is significant because they have been created in the image of God. As well as those who are believers are God’s children. A status and significance greater than anything the world could ever give us. So we are to find our significance in God and not in other people. 

Looking Forward

In my next post in this series, I will look at how we are selfish with our consideration of others. Until then, use the questions below to help you reflect on this post.

Questions for Reflection

  1. How does selfishness with your money manifest itself in your life?
  2. What underlying sin do you think causes you to be selfish with your money? Is it a lack of trust in God, a lack of joy in God, or a lack of recognizing your status is found in Christ alone?
  3. What other verses would you recommend for those dealing with this form of selfishness?

Resources

[1] Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 104.

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Respectable Sins: 4 Manifestations of Selfishness | Part 2

In my last post in this series, I discussed how we are often selfish with our interests. If you would like to read that post, you can do so by clicking here. Today I will deal with our selfishness regarding our time.

Our Time

There is only so much time in each day. We can acquire more money, clothes, shoes, or even houses, but we cannot gain more time. There is a fixed amount of it, which makes it a prime candidate for selfishness.

How are we selfish with our time?

We are selfish with our time when we excessively guard it, or when we unduly impose on another person’s time [1]You can tell when someone is being selfish with their time when they say things like:

  • “That is not my job!”
  • “I will do that later.”
  • “Time is money.”
  • etc.

 Or when they:

  • Ignore others
  • Are always rushing around, as if they have no time for anyone around them.
  • When they are constantly asking others to help them out regardless of the deadlines the other person has to meet.

When we, or others, use these phrases or perform these actions, selfish behavior is usually the reason.

What does Scripture have to say about how we are to act towards others?

Scripture tells us that we are to

bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).

So then, if we are to bear one another’s burdens we have to go beyond our normal duties. In order for us to do that, we have to be willing to sacrifice a little bit of our time.

Looking Forward

In my next post in this series, I will look at how we are selfish with our money. Until then, use the questions below to help you reflect on this post.

Questions for Reflection

  1. How do you think we show our selfishness with our time?
  2. How do you find a balance between being selfish and getting your own things done?
  3. What other verses would you recommend when dealing with selfishness?

Resources

[1] Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 104.

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