What is Selfishness?

Who are you that everything should happen just as you wish? Should the weather be fine simply because you want it to be so when a thousand fields are gasping for rain?

Should you have the channels of trade turned in your direction when, if that were the case, scores of others would be beggared? Is everything in this world to be so arranged that you shall be the darling and pet of providence?

Are there not some people, who seem to feel that they are the centre of all creation, and that all things were created for their honour and glory? Beloved, depend upon it, our miseries grow at the root of our selfishness. Where selfishness begins, sorrow begins; and where selfishness is dead, grief is dead. 

(Spurgeon Sermons 2831, 3073, 3184)

Selfishness (ἐριθεία) eritheía, in the New Testament a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit.

And the cure for this is…

Philippians 2:3–4…
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

In Mathew 6:19-21, our Lord says this…“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Of course, the stunning contrast we have is our Lord Jesus Christ, how instead of exalting Himself, He emptied Himself for others…

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

Philippians 2:5-8

Can you live for others beloved?

Then…with humility of mind regard one another
as more important than yourselves;

*Emphasis Mine, Pictures Not Mine

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