Let me just give you a few examples of selfishness that you are pretty familiar with:
- Burger Kings says “Have it ________ way” (YOUR)
- Sprite says “Obey __________ thirst” (YOUR)
- L’Oreal Hair Products say “Because ________ worth it” (YOU’RE)
- Bon Jovi’s song called “It’s ____ life”(MY) & The Beatles sang song called “I, Me, Mine”
We have been conditioned by our culture to think of ourselves as most important. It’s encouraged to be selfish…to look out for NUMBER 1. Jesus says and did differently…You know what I have discovered… My selfishness is everywhere! It’s like the dishes after dinner…you think you got all the big pots and pans…the plates…but then you find a sippy cup under the table. “Aw man, How did I miss that!?!”
Just as I think I have my selfishness under control, I find it in another part of my life.
- It’s when I want the traffic to go my way and all the lights to be green for ME.
- It’s the quiet I think I deserve when come home from work – w/ 4 kids under the age of 8, it’s not just selfish, but impossible.
- It’s when I get a fresh bottle of root beer…and several little voices ask for a sip.
You see how many faces selfishness can have? It is FRIGHTENING!
Read Philippians 2:3-4
The Do’s & Don’ts – This essentially is a list of Do’s & Don’ts – ever since we were kids, we don’t like do’s and don’ts…and our flesh wants to continue to fight them…but if you play this out, you can see how a your life could be derailed by not following this list.
First the Do’s – Have same mind/same love, Have humility, Look to the needs of others. The Don’ts – Have Selfishness, Have Pride, Look to your own needs. Why are these important? Well, let’s look at what happens if you follow the don’t list…
- Selfish – not have love for others
- Pride – credit will not be given to the Savior
- Look after you own interests – Please only yourself
Conversely, if you follow the do list…Love/Mind of Christ – accomplish the work of Christ…Humility – not get in the way of God working…Look at interests of others – reach needs & reach hearts of others
You can’t have the same mind & love of Christ if you have selfishness. It’s just not possible. Isn’t that interesting – when we do what we want…we don’t think it will affect others. But, in the end, nothing could be worse for our relationship with others than selfishness.
Humility is the complete opposite of selfishness. Paul is saying – this must describe you. And it might describe us! As a follower of Christ – we are to be a servant, a humble follower of Jesus. What an attitude. An attitude I hope each of us can adopt – To where nothing is done in selfishness or pride. Where we say “God did that”, not “I did that”. Where we say “These people need Jesus” not “these people need my help”. Where we say “How can I serve others” not “I’d rather just be comfortable”
So, two questions to ask ourselves:
- Why do you do the things you do?
- Please yourself – Make yourself feel good? Avoid hardship as much as possible? Eat, Drink, & Be Merry philosophy?
- Please others – To make people proud of you. To be able to brag to people what you do for a living…or how you help other people. So people see you as a good person.
- Please God – Are you on this planet to bring others TO Him. What you do is not for your own comfort, to promote your business or your name…do ALL for the glory of God.
- Can I think of others higher than myself?
- Means giving your attention to someone even when your eyes can barely stay open
- Means listening to the Holy Spirit – leading you to help others
- Means going outside your comfort zone for the betterment of someone else
In Philippians 2:6-11, we see the mind of Christ played out in one of the most beautiful pieces of literature ever written. When you think of Jesus’ death – can’t help but think who he died for…the murderers, the rapists, and those on death row. And he died for you, and for me. Talk about humility, the King of Kings…nailed to a cross to die for all those that spit in His face.
Jesus showed his humility. He showed it. Because a man who just says he is humble and does not show it – is just the opposite. And once you say you are humble, it is very likely you just lost your humility. Look at the example of Christ…his humility, his love, and his willingness to put others first. Selfishness has many faces…that’s why we need to not look in the mirror, but look to Christ.
Listen to the entire sermon here (9/4/2016)