There are times when Satan uses landmines to attack, but there are other times when he uses them to distract. Selfishness is when we seek or concentrate on our own pleasure or well-being without regard for others. A chief form of selfishness is materialism, which is a preoccupation with material possessions rather than spiritual things.
Why are selfishness and materialism a problem?
- They cause us to focus on our agenda, not God's agenda. Selfishness and materialism put blinders on us that cause us to miss God given outreach opportunities that the Lord provides. Philippians 2:21 reminds us that some “seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”
- They cause us to focus on ourselves, not others. How we are doing or how much we have become more important than other people.
- They cause us to focus on things that don’t matter in the long run. Things will go up in smoke. People will live forever. The question is where?
How do we avoid selfishness and materialism?
1. Focus on the example of Christ.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38)
Christ had every right to focus on Himself. He is the King of the Universe. Yet He chose to submit to the will of His Father rather than His own will, well-being, or net worth.
2. Focus on the mission of Christ.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Make foremost on your mind what was foremost on His—people who don’t know the Lord.
3. See yourself as the manager, not the owner, of everything you have.
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10)
Properly managing what you have, whether a spiritual or material blessing, involves using it to impact others.
4. Use what you have to impact who you know.
“Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share.” (I Timothy 6:18)
God has given you what you have to share—not to store.
5. Evaluate your priorities.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
As you prioritize your time and life, think of the word “JOY.” It stands for “Jesus first, others second, yourself third.” While you may be tempted to say, “What about me?”, remember: as you take care of God’s business, He will take care of yours.
- Listen to David Souther and Larry Moyer discuss the landmine of selfishness and materialism in Season 2: Episode 7 of The EvanTell Podcast