I’ve come to realize that the number one reason why people in the body of Christ aren’t experiencing the manifestation of their faith is because of a nasty monster called “selfishness.” In essence, they believe that “it’s all about them.” Selfishness is concerned with self-preservation and protection. It literally cuts you off from the blessing of God because it keeps you from allowing Him to be God in your life. Instead, you crown yourself god and trust in your own abilities more than your heavenly Father’s. In addition, selfishness causes you to operate from a position of always wanting to take the advantage, rather than give the advantage to someone else. Living a selfish life will stop the anointing of God from working for you.
All sin is selfish. It is impossible to be “in sin” without also being focused on your needs and desires. Think about it. When you do something that goes against the Word of God, you’re not thinking about how others will be affected. You certainly aren’t thinking about how God feels about your actions, at least not enough to stop engaging in the activity. If you are struggling with an area of sin, selfishness is in operation. That’s because all sin is based on the platform of self-exaltation and carnal gratification. From adultery and fornication to gluttony and strife, every work of the flesh has selfishness at its root and is propelled by the spirit of fear.
Selfishness is the exact opposite of love. The fruit of the Spirit includes love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. When you allow the works of the flesh—adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness and revellings—to dominate your life, you are subject to the kingdom of darkness. On the other hand, when you stay in the circle of love, you stay in a place of protection from the attacks of the enemy.
The only way to get rid of selfishness in your life is to cultivate the love of God. Jesus said in Matthew 22:34-40:
But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Whether your realize it or not, the love laws are God’s “general orders” to the body of Christ. Jesus is our commander in chief. He has commanded us to first love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength; and secondly, to love our neighbors as ourselves. When we keep these commandments at the forefront of our thinking and purpose to act on them whenever we get the opportunity, selfishness has no choice but to get out of the way!
If you find that your life is being ruled by selfishness, decide right now to take a stand against it knowing that fear is its driving force. Just like faith needs love to operate, fear needs selfishness to exist. The good news is that you have been delivered from the spirit of bondage to fear (Romans 8:15), and you don’t have to live a fear-filled, selfish life.
Jesus has come to set you free from fear and selfishness, so you have the liberty to love God and others freely. First John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love .” Just like any endeavor that you are striving toward, so it is with the love of God. By cultivating the fruit of the spirit in your relationships with others, you will become so proficient at the love of God that selfishness will have no room to continue its existence in your life. The saying is true: Practice makes perfect—perfect your love walk today!