I am convinced that we are a supremely selfish people. When I say we here, I’m not referring to a select group, that is open to the human race. Now before you get defensive about that statement and defend yourself, think about it with truth an honesty. I’m not suggesting that we all are selfish all the time, but I am suggesting that even the most selfless one of us, has selfish streaks at times. Others are selfish even more often.
- Most people look at themselves first in any photo.
- Most people’s favorite word is their own name.
- People will consider you a great conversationalist if you listen to them.
This list goes on and on. Then when you get down to our consumerism here in the States, it gets even worse. We seem to (more often than we’ll admit) think about what’s in it for me when making a decision.
Now I’m writing this at the beginning of the season where people turn their thoughts outward a little more. We have Thanksgiving and Christmas. But think about it. Thanksgiving is a day where we’re supposed to celebrate all the things we’re thankful for. It’s actually a reminder of the Pilgrims who traveled for months across the Atlantic and then were met by a group of peaceful natives who helped them prepare for the harsh winter they were about to endure. They were giving thanks to those natives and to God for protecting them. And how do we celebrate this holiday, by stuffing ourselves so full we can barely move.
Then there’s Christmas. A holiday to celebrate the birth of our Savior. And how to we celebrate that one? As a nation, we spend more than we can afford to buy things people don’t really need and most people celebrating Christmas won’t even acknowledge Christ anywhere in the season. It’s about us.
This selfishness is not new and it’s not exclusive to the US. Paul saw this selfishness all around him. When he was closing out his letter to the Hebrews, he said, may God “equip you with everything good that you may do his will” (Heb 13:21). Paul, perhaps one of the most selfless humans to have lived, was praying that God would equip the people for what? To do HIS will. Not Paul’s will, God’s will.
God gives all of us gifts. The first set of gifts He gives us are through nature and nurture. He selects the genes from each parent and then designs life scenarios for us to go through. With this combination, we receive gifts we are to use for His will. Then, those of us who accept the free gift of grace, receive the Holy Spirit and receive more spiritual gifts through the indwelling of the Spirit. Those we are also to use for His glory.
We are not designed to serve ourselves. This is why we can never be totally satisfied by serving ourselves. We are designed to serve Him. We serve Him by serving His people.
Do you Love Him? Then feed His sheep.