SE L F I S H N E S S
By Rodney W. Francis
Selfishness is one of those things that we were all guilty of before we ever came into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It is the very thing ~ coupled with greed ~ that has helped the world get into the predicament it is in today.
The answer to selfishness can only be found through a radical change of heart and attitudes; a change that comes through real faith in Jesus Christ.
The word “selfish” means (1) “too much concerned with one’s own welfare or interests and having little or no concern for others; self-centered.” (2) “showing or prompted by self-interest.”
Once we become a Christian, God should come first, others second and self last. But is this so? As Christians, can we give thanks to God that we are no longer selfish?
Does it not concern you the amount of selfishness that abounds in Christian circles today? For example, being so concerned that “I” get a blessing, or that “I” get to heaven with little or no genuine concern about a world going to hell without Christ? I mean, as long as “I” get to heaven, this is what really counts, isn’t it? Yes, it is mighty important. But if it is as important as we say it is ~ and it is ~ then why are we not much more concerned about the multiplied millions of people who not only have a far worse natural existence than we do, but also have no hope of a “home in heaven?” Should we not seriously consider that their soul’s salvation is just as important to God as is ours?
In far too many cases we see selfishness manifested in the name of Christianity and, when we stop to think it through, it can make one realize how “carnal” many of our “spiritual” ideas are. In a day when it is the “in” thing to be impressive, Christians think nothing of spending thousands of dollars of God’s money on entertaining the converted. Please do not get me wrong. Special Christian gatherings have their place in the plan of God and are needful. What we must watch is that we do not become unbalanced. The same amount of time, prayer and money invested in evangelism in the right place could reap a harvest of thousands of new souls for the Kingdom of God. It would not have the same kind of impression on the Christians, or give much entertainment value ~ but in eternity, where true results will be revealed, there would be far more fruit to the glory of God.
To be free from selfishness is to manifest genuine concern for others; to desire that the vilest of sinners will find a place of true repentance in Jesus Christ and grow to mature sons and daughters of God (fashioned according to His will, not mans).
True evangelism is Christian concern for the salvation of the lost and demonstrating that concern by being involved in the winning of them. It is time to ask ourselves afresh, “Are we being selfish in our lack of involvement towards the lost?” Do we share the Lord’s concern ~ “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”(2 Peter 3:9 ) ~ and are living accordingly? Yes, this is a challenge! Can we accept it? Are we prepared to deal a “death blow” to selfishness in the area of Christian living and spend our lives in reaching the lost?
Can we place ourselves in the position of Moses, who asked God to blot his name out of His Book if He would not forgive Israel’s sins (Exodus 32:31-33 )? God would not do that, but it does show the deep concern Moses carried for others. He was prepared to sacrifice himself for the benefit of others. The Apostle Paul carried the same heart-felt concern, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen (relatives) according to the flesh”(Romans 9:3 ).
It is so easy to get caught-up with the busyness of life in this 21st Century, and then have no time to do the Lord’s will and work. Maybe it is time for some self-examination on where things are at in the life we are living? How effective are we in the things of God and in the communicating of the Gospel to others? Do we care enough to do something about winning them to Christ?
There is great joy and satisfaction when we have the privilege of leading someone to a personal, saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and see them born-again into the Kingdom of God. Even the angels in heaven rejoice over one sinner that repents. Jesus said: “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10 , NKJV). May we be increasingly ‘out-looking’ in our attitude and motivation, and be always seeking to further the will of God in our lives. Do not let selfishness get in the way and rob us of eternal rewards.
Our life on earth is but a short span and it should be needful for us to make it count to the utmost in doing that which God requires of us. First and foremost this Ministry exists to make Jesus Christ known among those who know Him not. We seek to minister to all who come into contact with us, but our major involvement is in Gospel evangelism through literature, bringing converts to studying the Word of God, and equipping them for leadership in the nations through the power of the Holy Spirit. We invite you to stand together with us in your prayers “that the fields that are already white for harvest”(John 4:35 ) will not be lost by any selfishness on our part.
Yes, we are saved for Christ’s glory and service. May we all be exhorting and encouraging one another to “be about the Master’s business” and seeking to make a positive difference in a very negative world today. You and I are God’s Answers to a lost and dying world. The Message of Jesus Christ that we carry, when believed, makes such a difference that it means the difference between eternal life or eternal damnation. Let us be about the Master’s business today. God bless and enable you to accomplish so much more for His glory. Amen.