Overcoming Selfishness

 


Overcoming Selfishness
By Theo Stringer

How often have we judged people, conditions, or events based upon what we know about them? On the other hand how much do we really know about the people we meet, the things we see, the events and circumstances of life? If we are really honest with ourselves we would have to admit that we don't know nearly as much as we want people to think we do.

If truth be told the more we live or interact with our closest relatives and friends, the more we realize that we don't know them like we thought we did. An even frightening reality is; "the longer we live the more we find out about ourselves." Thus having judged people, and situations based upon what we thought we knew about them and later found we were all wrong, can we honestly evaluate anything based on what we know about them? How can we judge fairly when we are so limited in our knowledge and understanding? The answer is that we can't.

In order for us deal with people or circumstances objectively and appropriately, we must have precise knowledge about them. Ah, but you may say that is impossible for anyone, and I say that you are right. However what things that are impossible with men are possible with God. Only He is infinite in wisdom and knowledge. The apostle Paul wrote; "To live is Christ," and thus we do all things through Him. This means that our lives are lived in union with Jesus in total dependency upon Him.

Therefore as we abide Him and He lives in us, we are able to rightly deal with life and all its circumstances, as well as interact with people through Him. If that is so; "why do so many believers struggle to live the Christian life even with Jesus living within them?" The answer is clear. Jesus said; "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (John 15:4). We were created to live in union with Christ just as the branch lives in union with the vine.

This means that Christ is the center of our lives. Thus all things are of Him, through Him, and to Him, and not us. However when we are self-centered (walking after the flesh), we will become unproductive and discontent in life. Consequently by operating independently of Christ who is the source of our fruitfulness, by default leaves us barren. Jesus is our contentment, not people, conditions or things.

Jesus plus nothing is our all. As we abide in Him, He satisfies us independently of people or circumstances. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 from the Message Bible; "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

As simple as this may sound; "When we are not trusting in Jesus we are trusting in ourselves, and thus to trust in ourselves is to be selfish." So as long as we trust in ourselves we will never enjoy rest because it can only be experience when Jesus is our center. Selfishness has been the dilemma of mankind since the fall. Yet few of us (saints or sinners) would dare to admit that we are selfish. Yet all the while we see ourselves as God in the center of our universe, i.e. (in control of our own lives), and thus we view and deal with life from that standpoint.

This is the reason for much of our frustration with people, circumstances, or events when they don't agree with our point of view. It is from this limited standpoint that we worry when it seems like there is not enough money. It is from this same center that we are easily offended as well as despise those who don't see life the way we do, when in reality God (who is love) is the core of our new life. What's more, from this center we perform all types of religious activities, i.e. praise, give, worship, fast and pray, and go to church etc. to get God to bless us.

Dear friend we are (already) blessed because Christ is the center of our being; "for in Him we live, move and have our being." In Ephesians 1:3 Paul writes; "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." This is what is, and not what will be after we have "did this or did that." Jesus is our sufficiency right now! Thus as we abide in Him, the Holy Spirit lead us in all the activities and circumstances of life - "to live is Christ."

Overcoming Selfishness
By: Theo Stringer

Theory Stringer is the Pastor of the Community House of Prayer, and president and founder of Cherubim Communications. He is the author of 4 books that are designed to help ordinary people experience the abundant life. Find out more about how you can get your Christian manuscript published, as well as read the many articles available at: http://cherubimcommunications.org

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