I see this all the time on the internet: “Your twenties are meant for being selfish. Do things for you and don’t worry about other people”. I truthfully could not disagree with this statement more. Before you get all angry just hear me out. First of all I would like to address that being genuinely selfish is literally, literally never good. I think where a lot of people get misdirected is here: there is a massive difference in being selfish and doing things that are healthy for you both emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Selfish people, “I love you and everything but Id rather hang out with my friends all weekend, I see you every Monday morning it isn’t a big deal.”
Someone doing something healthy, “I love you so much, Im hanging out with the girls tonight but we should spend the day together tomorrow.”
Okay, dumb examples but do you kind of see my point? Selfishness is driven by a, Im doing what I want regardless of how you may feel or how it may impact you because its my life and I really don’t care what you have to say, mentality.
Yes you should ABSOLUTELY do things to better yourself, you should ABSOLUTELY do things you enjoy doing, and yes you should ABSOLUTELY make decisions you genuinely feel are good for you and your walk with God, but we should not be selfish. We should not do things completely disregarding others simply to get the benefit of whatever it is we’re doing or whatever it is we want.
The word selfish translates to: concerned excessively or exclusively with ones self; seeking or concentrating on ones own advantage, pleasure, or well being without regard for others. (Find definition at Merriem-Webster)
Is that really what we want to be? Is that really how we would want someone we care about to act towards us? Yeah, me either. What we should be doing all the time is praying for Gods guidance, for His understanding, for Him to take over our hearts and allow us to be humble, selfless people who live to serve the Kingdom of God and others. To be people who want to serve others more than we want to serve ourselves and to live for Him and not our own selfish and often self-destructive desires.
Let God guide you, let Him guide your hearts desires.
So, what does the Bible have to say about selfishness you may be asking? Well my friend, that would be a lot.
Philippians 2:3 Dont do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves.
Galatians 5:17 A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do.
Romans 8:5 People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit.
The list goes on, those are just some that have struck me.
And Im not saying give up on things you want, but instead, use those things you want, those things you chase, as a way to glorify God.
An example of this is, lets say you’re seeking a new job opportunity. Pray for God to provide you with a job opportunity that will allow you to reach those who need Him. Pray for a job that will allow you to bless other people by serving them through your job.
Or lets say you’ve been praying for marriage, you can pray for God to bless you with a marriage that glorifies Him through your marriage. You can pray for a marriage of serving others, a marriage of devotedness to the Lord.
We as humans need to stop focusing on what we will get out of a situation, but rather what we can GIVE in a situation and how we can GLORIFY the Lord through opportunities, people, and places.
I know its human nature to be selfish, I know, but lets make a conscious effort to be as selfless as possible, I dare you!