How to rise above self
Human beings are selfish by nature. We just have to look at babies to see where it all starts. We want what we want; the best car, the best career, the best family, the best health overall. Such things are not bad, but when we are too busy looking at self, it is hard to see others. We become engrossed with ourselves.
This usually comes out best when we are facing struggles. We can become consumed in our situation. We start thinking other people owe us something. Maybe we are facing a financial struggle, an illness, or a loss of any kind. It is easy to become selfish. We may ask: Don’t other people realize we are suffering? Why do they want us to do that thing when we ourselves are suffering? Why do they always want more from us? Why do they never ask us what we are going through?
Yes, we are to take care of ourselves. We are to take care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It is hard to take care of others if we neglect ourselves. We are to take time out for ourselves. We take time to develop our relationship with God. We cannot give others what we do not have. The Bible tells us that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
We have to get filled and overflowing so that we can offer others what we have. Only God fills us. That means we have to spend enough time with God so that our hearts can be in the right place. We then rise up and start loving others with words and actions. It is one of the most satisfying things we can ever do. It is hard to love others especially when their words and actions are unlovable. Yet, it is how we serve God and build up treasures in heaven.
We love God because He first loved us. We are already loved, by God. Therefore, everything we do comes from a place of love. We do not love in order to be loved back. We do not give in order to be given back. Human beings have no power to do that, they have no power to satisfy us. We do it out of service to God; only God settles the score. We realize we are equal in the eyes of God. We are not better than others. God loves all of us.
The gifts given to us are for service to humanity and service to God. They are not for gaining fame, they are not for gaining followers, they are not for our selfish interests.
Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3–4.
The moment we do or say anything just to get praise from others or for our own selfish interests, we have already gotten our reward, that is, earthly praise, self fulfillment, and feeding our egos.
God looks at the heart; He looks at our intentions; He looks at our motives. Something we say or do may look good on the outside but if it is done with the wrong motives, it becomes meaningless. Yes, we will get praise from people, people will seem to love us or be drawn to us, but we get no heavenly reward. Such things just feed our ego; they are food to the flesh.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. James 3:16.
The Bible tells us that those who are according to the flesh set their minds on things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, set their minds on the things of the Spirit. The Spirit and flesh are hostile against each other; one has to die. We are either controlled by the Spirit or the flesh (self).
The works of the flesh are selfish, they have no regard for God, they bring death, and they fill voids with vain things of the world. We are told that the works of the flesh are evident; immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, and factions. Those who practice such will not see God, unless they repent, turn 180 degrees in the other direction, and start following Christ.
One of the best things we can do when we are going through trials is to love others. Love is an action, not an emotion. In doing so, we get off ourselves. We give. We rise above self, we rise above the situation we are in. We see others as God sees them.
We do not go into a receiving, self-pitying mode. Instead, we give ourselves to the service of others. We tell the other person that they are loved, we help that elderly man or woman, we go out and spend time with orphans, we give someone an encouraging word, we offer someone financial help, we talk to that person who is feeling lonely and on the verge of suicide. We give. Such simple things yet they make such a big difference in someone else’s life. Giving is an act of selflessness. However, we do not accept any form of abuse in the process. Selfless acts and words mean a lot; those things we do without expecting anything in return.
The Bible tells us that bitter, jealous, and selfish ambition in our hearts are natural, earthly, and demonic. Such bring disorder and evil. Selfishness yields nothing good.
If our lives are all about satisfying self, we give a foothold to the enemy in our lives. God does not bless selfishness. We are told that whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. Holding onto things is rooted in fear. Yet, we forget that we attract what we fear. To overcome that, we give. We give not because we are rich, not because we are better than others, and not to prove anything to anyone. We give because we love God, who first loved us.
God called us to a life of service. The things of the world will pass away. Nothing in this world is permanent. Our bodies are temporary too, here today and gone tomorrow. The only thing that remains is what we invested in the Kingdom of God; that is how we build up treasures in heaven. Jesus did not tell us to get the best jobs, best houses, best careers, best bodies, or most followers; such are good but should not become our idols or identity. Jesus told us to love God first, and then to love our neighbors as ourselves; that is the greatest commandment.
Get my free guide: How to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply. Click Here to download.
Get free consultation about my Christian women coaching mentorship program. Click Here to get more information.
Originally published at https://www.vickysforum.com on January 4, 2021.