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By Grant Everly
By nature, we are all selfish people. In such a self-absorbed society, it’s quite difficult to constantly be considerate, helpful and self-sacrificing. I know that for me personally, my battle against selfishness starts with an almost intrinsic arrogance. I continually find that I place myself on some sort of self-righteous pedestal on which I feel comfortable when I lack in consideration for others simply because I feel that I’m somehow more important than they are. I know this is extremely far from the truth, but this self-obsessed mentality is something I really struggle to rid myself of.
This past week at iMPACT we talked about selfishness and how to conquer it. The bottom line from Josh’s message is that “the key to being selfless is thinking of yourself less.”
“The key to being selfless is thinking of yourself less.” -Josh Petersen
This seems rather obvious, but the reality is that it’s a truth we rarely seem to put into practice. Even when we diagnose and look to weed out the selfishness in our lives, it becomes easy to do so selfishly. Or in other words, even when we take measures to get rid of selfishness, we can easily slip into a place in which we truly aren’t concerned about others, but more so about making ourselves look like better, more selfless people.
In order for us to begin to apply this principle of focusing on others more, we must first humble ourselves. As I mentioned before, for me, one of my biggest obstacles in being selfless is the fact that I’m entirely too prideful and often don’t assume a very humble, servant-like position. This may not be the case for you, but for me it totally is. When I begin to think of how I can “think of myself less,” I immediately come to the conclusion that I must first be humble. I’m positive that once I can take the position of a servant, the floodgates will be open with selflessness. The only problem, however, is that it’s much easier to talk about being like a servant, than it is to actually be one.
I’m positive that once I can take the position of a servant, the floodgates will be open with selflessness. The only problem, however, is that it’s much easier to talk about being like a servant, than it is to actually be one.
Josh referenced Philippians in which it talks about Christ humbling himself and being selfless. I love this passage because it shows how interdependent humility and selflessness are.
Philippians 2:3-8 says:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
Our first step in defeating the unavoidable plague of selfishness, is humbling ourselves by thinking of Christ. For when we rest in a place of humility, we are able to truly think less about ourselves and more about others; when we stop prizing ourselves as much as we do, and instead view ourselves as humble servants of Christ, the fullness of selflessness is able to be realized and we can begin to more fully live the life that Jesus has called us to. So as we look to weed out the selfishness in our lives, let us do so humbly and with the demeanor of a servant.
Grant Everly is a junior at Warren Township High School and regularly attends church with his family and iMPACT on Sunday nights. He plays soccer, enjoys sports and has passion for learning more about Christ and growing in Him.