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Monday, February 22, 2021

Selfishness (#2)

By Joe Slater

    Selfishness isn’t new! Scripture warns often against over-emphasizing self. Paul, for example, wrote: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:14). Did he say, “Totally ignore your own interests”? No, he warned us not to think exclusively, or even excessively, of ourselves. If I am cold, I might adjust the thermostat to warm the room. But if someone else feels too warm, I could go put on a sweater instead. I should consider the other person’s comfort, not just my own.
    Of course, selfishness goes far deeper than thermostats and sweaters. Peter warned of ungodly false teachers who “walk according to the flesh in the list of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed” (2 Peter 2:10). Uncleanness and lust obviously point to sexual immorality which characterizes modern society and has impacted the church negatively. Such selfish behavior ignores the boundaries God set on sexual activity, focusing instead on fleshly gratification without the commitment of marriage.
    Even from a strictly worldly standpoint, pre-marital and extra-marital sexual activity bring harmful results, be they physical (disease; unwanted pregnancy) or emotional (guilt, betrayal, anger). These pale, however, in comparison to the spiritual wreckage. Unfortunately, though, selfishness often prevents the person from understanding, much less caring, how their sinful behavior affects their own relationship with God or that of others involved. The momentary pleasures of sin numb them to the eternal consequences.
More next week! 
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com


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