(A portion of the following thoughts were shared at EBC’s Bible study and prayer time on 7/17/14…consider yourself invited to come and be a part of this weekly gathering)
Selfishness…it’s easy to spot.It’s all around us. We see it readily in others. So how come we often have a hard time seeing it in ourselves?
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible does have something to say about loving ourselves. We’re called to love others as we love ourselves, for example.
But again, why do we have such a hard time with this? One reason is that we often don’t see ourselves correctly. And if we do, we have a tendency to make everything about us and love ourselves in a way that is incorrect according to scripture and disproportionate to loving God and loving others.
What’s a guy or gal to do?
Part of the prescription, I think, is seeing ourselves accurately from biblical perspective. We have such a hard time with this precisely because of the reason Jeremiah 17:9-10 states. There we read, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? ‘I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.'” In other words, God knows our deceitful hearts. That’s not great news.
It does get better, however. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. This means that God and His word can go deep into our hearts to separate and judge our thoughts, our attitudes, and our motives. So God’s word reads us. No spin. No smoke screens. No hiding behind excuses or blaming others. And if we read God’s word honestly and responsively, He will show us ourselves. We’ll see ourselves and who we really are according to His word. Seeing yourself correctly is one of the first steps to loving yourself correctly.
Philippians 2:3 says how we can sometimes see ourselves wrongly or sinfully. There it tells us to have an attitude of humility, not sinful pride or vain conceit. The very next verse instructs us how to combat our tendency toward inappropriate self-focus and selfishness.
Loving ourselves correctly, according to God, His perspective, and His word, is not a one-time decision. It is an on-going process.
With God’s Word, His Spirit, His power, His word, and His perspective, may we all take steps from this day forward to actively be involved in this.
Put your right hand on the Bible and your left hand on your heart, “With God’s help…(now you say it)…I resolve…to see myself…my thoughts…my attitudes…and my actions…from God’s perspective….given to me…in His word….from this day on….”