Anyone that has met a small child (Nearly everyone) knows that children can be feisty and a bit selfish. It is human nature.
From birth, humanity’s ambition is set on sustaining itself and getting the things that we need to survive.
Often, from the age of 2, when a child spots something that they like or want from another person, you may notice they exclaim, “Mine!”
Whether it is or not, their heart is set on something and that something, reflects self.
It reflects a fleshly struggle that wants love and satisfaction above dealing it out.
Reflecting on selfishness, God does not call us to neglect ourselves. He simply calls us to esteem Him high and value the importance of others for the movement of the Body of Christ.
This may mean esteeming ourselves below others so that love can have an effectual working within the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Reducing selfishness is a product of living within what many call the “golden rule (Romans 13:9-10)”.
The golden rule is a part of a bigger set of regulations known to many as the “great commandments (Matthew 22:36-40)”.
Jesus and Paul were providing their listeners with timeless knowledge from the Law (Leviticus 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:4-5).
With this instruction being a doctrinal staple through all dispensations, it holds a powerful place within the Christian lifestyle.
When contrasting selfishness and love, John Piper states,
“Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.”
Putting aside selfishness and putting on love does not require a self-help book or mental gymnastics.
We need to simply put on the new man that we are called to equip from the moment we are saved (Ephesians 4:24).
Putting on the new man allows us to live graciously within Christ’s righteousness which He covers us in.
With this new mindset we can live in “lowliness of mind” as described in Philippians 2:3-4.
The Apostle Paul gives practical advice when instructing that we,
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”
Moreover, put on the new man today and allow Christ’s righteousness and grace to do a work within your heart.
Look to esteem others above ourselves and as fellow-heirs to His Heavenly kingdom.