Friday, December 11, 2009
The Only Medicine for Selfishness
As I’ve shared in my recent post, selfishness is a persistent disease of human nature. For thousands of years, this epidemic disease has continued to afflict and distort people’s thinking and choices. By nature, we do all tend to approach life from a fundamentally selfish point of view.
I’m reminded of a married man who confessed about his ongoing “problem:” gambling and womanizing. He knows and studies the Bible for years. He even wants to be a minister. Yet his “problem” persists. The fact is, he chooses to gamble and womanize even when he knows that they are harmful and will destroy him. What begins as a choice becomes an enslaving addiction.
Paul describes this kind of mindset: “For the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God” (Romans 8: 6-8). In Ephesians 4, Paul further notes a kind of loss of sensitivity (especially to morality) and “have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity” (vv. 18, 19).
How did we get this disease? And how can we cure it?
Selfishness began with our first parents – Adam and Eve – who chose to believe and follow the serpent (Satan). God gave them freedom to choose good or evil. They chose evil and placed self above God. Take note that, behind this disease of selfishness, is a “great dragon … called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9), “the prince of the power of the air” and “god of this age” (John 12:31; Ephesians 2: 2; 2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan’s massive deceptions have led mankind to follow him rather than the true God.
There is only one medicine, one cure, for the disease of selfishness – the Holy Spirit. Those who accept the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus and live for Him will receive the power and medicine of the Holy Spirit that’s greater than the power of Satan. As the apostle Paul wrote, God’s Holy Spirit is “a spirit of power and love and of self discipline” (2 Timothy 1: 7). When one follows Christ and His Word, “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2: 13).
May God’s Holy Spirit touch you today! He is the only medicine -- the divine power that will enable us to diagnose, cure, and heal the disease of selfishness in our being.