Overcoming Selfishness

Samuel Smith


"12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 12:18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 12:19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 12:20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 12:21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16 - 21) My beloved Brother or Sister, I want you to notice in this devotion that SELFISHNESS is a dangerous and a soul-ruining sin. Probably there is nothing obviously sinful about the outward life of many rich men at this end of the world than the sin of selfishness. Many rich men are not murderers. They are not thieves. They are not adulterers or liars. Yet they will end up losing their salvation at the end of time as a result of their selfish heart. In this devotion, it is not only to the rich I appeal but also to the ordinary.

My dear Brother or Sister, we must beware of living only for ourselves as many rich men do. It is not enough for any of us to say, "I live correctly; I do my duty in every area of my life." The question is, Are you living for yourself or for Christ? What is your purpose and motivation in life? Do you no longer live for yourself but for him who died for you? (see 2 Corinthians 5:15). If you are like the rich man in the key passage of this devotion, living for yourself, then you will be LOST.

My beloved Brother or Sister in Christ, we must learn the danger of not doing what we ought. Many rich men will not lose their salvation because of what they did, but because of what they did NOT do. They simply refused to help the poor with what they had. We should remember that on the Judgment Day Christ will say to MANY: "I was hungry and you gave me no food; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in..." (Matthew 25:42, 43).

Lastly, my dear reader, we must learn that riches bring special dangers with them. Many people at this end time of the end spend their lives seeking riches, even though the Bible makes it clear that riches bring great spiritual danger. Riches can easily harden the soul and lead us to forget God. No wonder Jesus says: "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!" (Mark 10:23). We need to learn to be especially careful about selfishness in these last days because we are told that "In the last days, perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money" (2 Timothy 3:1, 2). Many of us give away nothing at all, or very little in proportion to our wealth, even though the Bible warns us against selfishness and the love of money.

My dear Brother or Sister, do you have money? Then "Take heed and beware of covetousness" (Luke 12:15). Certainly it is possible for you to be saved, because Abraham, Job and David were all rich men. But think about the danger of riches and daily seek help from above. Always remember that money is a good servant, but a bad master. My dear Brother or Sister, it is possible that you do have very little or no money at all? If this is your case, then do not envy people who are richer than you? Rather pray for them, and do not be quick to judge them. Beware of thinking that being poor will save you. At the Second Coming of Christ, many poor people will be saved not because they were poor, but because they had Christ. Do you want to know the cure for selfishness? The cure is a real knowledge and experience of Christ's love. You must know your own sinful condition; you must experience the power of Christ's blood to heal you. Then, knowing how much you owe the Lord, you will feel that NOTHING is too great to give to Him, and help the poor.

Paul Fonsi