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Monday, February 22, 2021

Selfishness (#3)

By Joe Slater

    Selfish people often despise authority (2 Peter 2:10). Do you remember being irked as a child when your parents, teachers, or other adults told you what to do? Wise parents discipline their children, teaching them to respect authority. As adults, we recognize civil authorities’ right to tell us to drive on the right side of the road and keep our speed within the posted limit, even when we want to go faster.
    Unfortunately, while everyone grows older, not everyone grows up! Some adults kept the self-willed attitude of their youth, and it shows as they resist not only civil authority, but the authority of God Himself! The selfish person childishly exclaims, “I’ll do what I want!” But the mature Christian humbly says, “I’ll do as I ought.”
    Just suppose that Jesus had been selfish – where would we be? When He left the glorious splendor of heaven to take on human flesh, was He thinking of His own personal benefit? Hear the Savior’s words: “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Jesus submitted to the authority of His Heavenly Father and acted unselfishly to save us. Pleasing the Father and saving us were more important to Jesus than His own personal comfort. Hebrews 12:2 exhorts us to look “unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame . . .”
    A single word tells how to overcome selfishness: LOVE. If we love God, we will seek to please Him through obedience to His commands (John 15:14). If we love each other, we will act in one another’s best interests. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God” (1 John 4:7). 
- 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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