Simple Ways to Beat Selfishness

quote on selfishnessSelfishness can be an uncomfortable topic. We want to think we are better than the pettiness of selfish actions and attitudes. It’s so easy to point the finger at others when we start chatting about selfishness, right?

Yesterday I realized things I was upset about really came down to…being too caught up in my own interests. Busted!

“‘How everything affects me’ is the center of all that matters – self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking.”–Ezra Taft Benson

Simple ways to put others first.

Nothing?

Do nothing from selfish motives or self-conceit.  Nothing?  Oh, this is hard! Self-focus is the natural default setting of our sin nature. If we could see a print out of our motivations over the last week, we’d be shocked at how pervasive selfishness is in our thinking.

Caring about the interests of others and sharing their concerns creates unity and bonds of friendship.

The humility of Christ is a stark contrast to the self-focus that lurks in our hearts. He emptied Himself of divine glory and did not insist that He be treated according to His right. Sacrificing Himself for our benefit is the extreme act of looking out for the interests of others. Love grows when we let go of our own interests and we care for others.

 Five Simple Ways to Beat Selfishness:

  1. Pay attention to what others are excited about.
  2. Be a cheerleader. See the best in others, especially when they can’t.
  3. Follow through with commitments to others.
  4. Be thankful for the people God places in your life. Gratitude chases selfishness away.
  5. Be intentional. Don’t let busyness crowd out the needs of others.

For more biblical insights and five additional ways to overcome our tendency to focus too much on our own interests, join me for the remainder of this post at Five Minutes for Faith. See you there! Leave a comment and share how you beat selfishness in your life. I’d love to read what works for you.

By the way, I have recently added a photo gallery with some of my favorite images. This is a work in progress, so come check it out!

Joining with the bloggers in these lovely communities: #RaRaLinkUp .

 

6 Comments

  1. Let the church say… Ouch.

    Ouch!

    When I realize how much I pray for myself, plan for myself, think about myself, worry about myself…I start wondering if God gave us all the promises of His care so we could stay active in considering others first. Of course we’re told to bring ALL our requests to the Lord, but how disproportionately are those requests “me” centered instead of “we” centered? It can start with a hug, or active listening, or sending a card, or getting someone on orange balloon(I stole that idea from Deidra Riggs!). Even the little things get us outside of ourselves enough to change the selfishness that steals the joy of our togetherness.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Great point, my friend. My prayer content is definitely heavy on the Ginger-side. I love your suggestions–especially the orange balloon. Yes I agree that little things remind us to think of others…and we enjoy them too!

  2. Ouch is right!

    As an only child I feel I have to especially stay on guard against selfishness, even as an adult! Things I never considered selfish have been exposed (thank you hubby with 3 siblings) over our 25 years together. Love your 5 Ways…and I look forward to visiting your photo gallery. You’re so talented!

    • Ginger Harrington

      Becoming a wife and parent will definitely reveal layers of self-focus that we didn’t realize were there! Great point, Cathy. Loving others is always a win in overcoming absorption! Thanks so much for visiting today!

  3. Thanks so much for talking about this hard topic and sharing your heart. It is a good reminder! Visiting you from #raralinkup

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