What’s Wrong With Being A Little Selfish?

Lauren Ayers

I remember it clearly: the moment I became a mother.

Holding my baby in my arms for the first time, there was an immediate connection, unexplainable love, and the fact that I would do anything to protect this little girl from harm’s way. But there were also the late nights, the colicky crying, and the fact that five years later the majority of my bathroom trips have entailed little fingers reaching under the door.

From that day forward, it has been apparent that I am responsible for loving another human being and putting her needs above my own. It’s not about me.

When we become more like Jesus, we inherently become more selfless and less selfish.

The Bible teaches us this message, and not just as it relates to parenting. Paul instructs us in the Book of Philippians that we are to do nothing out of selfish ambition (Philippians 2:1-4). We are to value others above ourselves. Their interests are to take priority over our own.

This is hard enough to grasp at times as a parent when we are dealing with the children that we desperately love. But Paul’s instruction is applicable to everyone that we encounter, even those that we might find harder to love.   

Paul teaches that putting others before satisfying our own wants and needs is one of the most important actions we can do as Christians. This recurring theme in the Bible impacts many areas of our lives and ultimately points people to Jesus.

4 Ways Being Selfless Makes A Real Difference In Our Lives

1.     Selflessness in Marriage

The Bible is clear that in a marriage relationship we must submit our spouse’s needs above our own (Ephesians 5:22-23). As counterintuitive as this may sound in the middle of a heated discussion, this is the secret to a successful marriage.

2.     Selflessness in Friendships

In the gospel of John, the greatest love is credited as laying down one’s life for a friend (John 15:13). Think of your friends. Is there selfish ambition involved? Competition? Do you love them well and truly put their needs above your own?

3.     Selflessness in the Workplace

We are taught to work as if we are working for the Lord, not human masters (Colossians 3:23, Ephesians 6:5-7). Imagine that God is your boss. How does this change your perspective and work ethic?

4.     Selflessness Makes Us More Like Jesus

Jesus personified the ultimate selfless act when He died for our sins so that we may have eternal life with Him (1 John 2:6). When we become more like Jesus, we inherently become more selfless and less selfish.

Selflessness does not always come naturally for me. In the end, however, my girls don’t know that I love them because of my words, but my actions. In the same way, the world knows we are Christians—not because of our title, but because of how we treat others.

It’s not about us. How can we embody this truth?  

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