Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)
TITLE: Mr. Selfishness And His Three Close Friends
By Doug Laird
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Mr. Selfishness’ friends have three common names. Their names are Me, Myself and I. Some would consider them to be extended family members as they are certainly well related. Within this tight knitted foursome, there is always harmony as one convinces and assures the other that he is always right.
In the natural realm, Mr. Selfishness is easily identified. His favorite tune is “Hurray For Me” and his favorite book is “What Are You Going To Do For Me?”.
Mr. Selfishness, with the help of his three friends, can overtly be one of the nicest, thoughtful, and helpful persons to have around, providing he sees in his endeavors the expected fruits of his labor and investment. Unfortunately, he can also be one of the most spiteful, vindictive, and destructive persons to have around when things don’t go his way.
In the spiritual realm, Mr. Selfishness with the help of his three friends operates a little more cleverly and is not as easily identified. He operates through the fallen nature within us in order to have his agenda accepted. He often convinces himself that he is doing what is right in demanding his rights and going after what is due him in every relationship and situation.
Mr. Selfishness is not interested in what plans the will of God may have for him. He soothes whatever qualms of conscience there may be by developing his own agenda usually dominated with human works and then seeks God’s approval.
When Mr. Selfishness and his friends have a Bible study, they are looking for “confirmation” as to what they have already determined to be the case rather than “information” that they can use to discern the will of God.
Mr. Selfishness’ and his friends’ prayer meetings focus on all the issues that would improve their environment and promote their plans rather than on issues that would promote God’s plan and agenda.
Mr. Selfishness’ and his friends’ “labor for God” often focuses on the approbation of Man rather than the glory of God.
Anytime anyone suggests that Mr. Selfishness might consider his ways, Mr. Selfishness gets in touch with his three “friends” who will promptly reassure him that he is right and that others just don’t understand him or appreciate him enough.
Global or local politics is of little interest to Mr. Selfishness so long as it is NIMBY (not in my back yard) or requires any service or sacrifice on his part or that of his three friends. At the same time, Mr. Selfishness is the first in line when it comes to receiving and enjoying the benefits that others have provided for him.
When considering the life of discipleship, Mr. Selfishness is first member of our former board of directors that has to go. We cannot give our lives to God and still claim ownership or control for ourselves. The vehicle of travel along the road of discipleship is not equipped with dual controls.
Mr. Selfishness’ security admittance pass must be confiscated and destroyed as he will no doubt be back for his old job as soon as we experience the inevitable pressure put upon every disciple to reject the true spiritual life and return the helm to the hands of Mr. Selfishness.
Once Mr. Selfishness has been dismissed and is denied re-access, we will no longer have a personal agenda. God’s agenda becomes ours. Every part of our private and public life becomes His and for His glory.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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