Being selfish is something that I have struggled with a lot. The further I got away from God and the bible, the more selfish I became. For me, this was very prevalent while I was in college. Gearing up for marriage and being married has taught me a lot about being selfless, about having humility, and about putting someone else above your own wants and desires. I’m sure if you ask my wife, I still have a long way to go with this, but I have certainly improved over the years.
Reading through the first half of Philippians 2 can be pretty difficult for selfish people. It calls us to:
Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.”
I can think of more than a few people in my past that I have demanded apologies from. They were wrong, right? Am I really supposed to turn the other cheek? (Matthew 5:39) Wouldn’t that put my stamp of approval on their actions?
Was Jesus really putting his stamp of approval on the actions of everyone that gave false testimonies against him that eventually led to him being sent to the cross? No, he embodied the demeanor and actions of a servant and let them take his life. Why would God do that?
It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around what God is calling us to do. I found myself reading these verses over and over again, trying to make sense of the verses and apply them to my life. And what it has come down to (for me), is acting like a servant. And if anyone knows me, they know I struggle with taking direction. I’ve got to be behind the idea, I normally have to make sense of it in my head before I get on board with helping out. But that’s the last thing I want when I’m leading the charge. I want people who trust me and are committed to supporting me and the decisions that I make. I want people who will give 110% of themselves to make the operation a success.
So, why would I refrain from doing the same for someone else’s objective? Because I’m selfish: plain and simple. I want some credit for everything I invest and all of the effort I put in. Why would I do it for anything else? And the answer that I should be thinking is: because God calls us to embody the very nature of a servant – just like Jesus did his entire life. It says this later on in Philippians 2.
Philippians 2: 6-8 “Who being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”
Even though Jesus was the biggest “deal” that this earth would ever see, he acted like he was nothing. He acted like everyone was better than he was. There was no one unworthy of his presence, his love, or his talent. He willingly gave up everything.
Help me to be more selfless and more servant-like. Help me to think less of myself and to be more humble. God, give me the attitude, demeanor, and mind of a servant. Help me to be more like-minded with the Spirit. Help me to give of myself more frequently and to hold back nothing out of selfish ambition or vein conceit when people ask me for help. Refill me with a supernatural energy and attitude that makes me the best servant, follower, and helper. Remind me through your holy Spirit of these verses continually. Refresh and renew my mind to think on these things. In Jesus name I pray.