I have been noticing a besetting sinful attitude among many Christians in the recent past. It is the sin of selfishness. Many women are very selfish about their time. It is not exclusive to younger women, but it has affected older saints as well.
The attitude among some older women asked to serve in ministry is, “I have done my time, now it is time for me!” There is little to no interest in mentoring younger women or rocking babies in the nursery. The younger woman struggle as well with their own desires for freedom, their desires to indulge their own personal interests. If they can leave the kids with dad, the last thing on their minds is serving someone else.
We are all so busy! Many of us work outside the home in addition to raising our children and in some cases grandchildren. When we get “free time” we guard it jealously and resent anyone infringing on it. But does this honor God? Is there such a thing in the Bible called “me time?”
This is a heart of selfishness — the heart that believes it is all about me. What I want, what I think, and what I desire is far more important than anything you want.
I have witnessed selfishness in actions and words. Do you find yourself being rude to others? Are you sensitive to how your words affect others or do you not care too much about the impact your words have on others? Some women are willing to speak what is on their minds and are careless about any humiliation or embarrassment their words will cause. Is this thinking of others? Or is it being inconsiderate?
If you are insensitive to time and show up late to meetings, events, and even church, you are demonstrating selfishness through your inconsideration of others involved. Some people show up late to church week after week parading right down the center aisle and disturbing the worshipers, distracting the pastor and disregarding the efforts of the music people. This is simply selfishness, thinking only of ones self. How much effort does it take to get there on time?
How do I avoid selfishness? What do I do if I have just learned I am a selfish person? First, you must make a plan to change. All meaningful change begins in the heart. This change must be from a heart of selfishness to a heart that is willing to give and serve. Phil 2:4 says, “…look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Ask the Lord to give you a desire to serve others, be considerate, be selfless. God will honor your prayer for He desires that we imitate Christ who was the epitome of selflessness. Philippians 2 gives us insight into Christ’s example of humility —
We can be encouraged by Christ’s example of humility and His gift of love and the Spirit to lead us to imitate Him. (Philippians 2:1)
If we are born-again believers of Jesus Christ, we can trust that we have the same mind of Christ given to us by His Spirit enabling us to walk in humility. (Philippians 2:2)
The Gospel story is the perfect example for Christians of what it should look like to live a life of humility, a life of service to others, and a life of obedience to God. (Philippians 2:5-11)
Second, get busy! It is not enough to pray and ask God to make you less selfish, you have to act on it. My mom taught me that charity begins in the home. It is the easiest place to serve others, and it is the place we are least likely to willingly do so. Make your family the first recipients of your giving heart. Make time for other people in your life. Focus less on your own wants or perceived needs and consider others better than yourself. Begin with the little things and work your way up to the list of One Another’s we find in Scripture. Make it your goal to integrate one or two of those into your life each week.
A desire to serve God is a manifestation of His grace in your life. We can not conjure up these desires in the flesh. They are Spirit born, and that is intentional by God. If your heart has been hardened to this aspect of your Christian life then this is the time to begin to pray for change.
You will soon see that serving others brings joy to your soul, cures depression, and most importantly brings glory to God!