Written by Jen T.
I made a realization about sin recently. All sin stems from selfishness and pride. This is obvious once you think about it, but I guess I had never thought much about it. The Bible says in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” And all sin comes from one of these areas. Lust is a selfish longing, something that you desire, that you think will fulfill you and bring you happiness. The lust of the flesh covers a multitude of things—basically anything you want in this world that goes against God. Our flesh wants what it wants when it wants it and it’s hard to deny our flesh. The lust of the eyes covers lots of things too—we see things all the time that we desire. It causes jealousy, wrong desires, and becoming discontent with what we have. And not only are these lusts mentioned, but also the pride of life. We want our lives to look good to others. We want to look like we have it all together; that our families are doing great. We want people to like the things we have, our clothes, houses, vehicles, etc. But these desires are not from God.
All throughout scripture we are called to the opposite of selfishness and pride. We are called to love and love and love some more. John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you” is just one of many, many scriptures in which God calls us to love. One of my favorites is 1 Peter 4:8, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” When you love someone, you are more able to give grace for their imperfections.
And selfishness? We are never ever called to think of ourselves. We are called to put others before us and humble ourselves all throughout the scriptures. One example is Philippians 2:3, “…. in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Is that easy? No, not at all. This world teaches us from a very young age to have pride in ourselves and look out for #1.
I have been working on this and it is a very hard journey; a difficult lesson to learn. However, I have also learned that if I can conquer my selfishness and put others first, it can bring deeper relationships and a lot of glory to God. And shouldn’t this be our goal in life here on earth? To bring God glory? Psalm 115:1, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.”