Selfish

My wife is a woman of great faith. Throughout our marriage, she has prayed boldly for some audacious prayer requests. Some of these bold requests I disagreed with, most infamously that God would test us financially. I didn’t understand why she wanted to pray that, but God did answer that prayer, and it was a faith-building exercise for us.

Last year, I felt led to pray a prayer that was also audacious: that God would show me where I was selfish. What a dumb prayer! I thought there would be 3-5 things that I would need to fix, not 365 at least! It has been a very interesting exercise, and one that I would highly recommend. It was (and is) very humbling to realize how selfish that I really am. Indeed, we are all full of ourselves.

Christ is our ultimate example of selflessness. As we observe holy week, I am reminded of Christ’s sacrifice. Look as how much selflessness is mentioned in this passage from Phil. 2:

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Verse 4 states the obvious: we will look out for our own interest. The challenge is the rest of the verse: will we look out for the interests of others?

Verse 3 says to do nothing out of selfish ambition, but putting others first. Our example is Christ, who did the ultimately selfless act of emptying himself to become a man, praying “not My will, but Thine be done”, and giving Himself as a ransom for all.

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