These are my notes for our 9/4/2011 church meeting.
Leader: Russ Farmer
Selfishness: We'll be discussing this topic and what it really means to your relationship to God. What is your definition of selfishness and can you find any scriptures that relate to the topic?
Selfishness is defined as:
devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.
Selfishness is a plague to any relationship and our relationship with GOD is no different. The more focused I am on myself as opposed to being focused on GOD, the more unhappy, unfulfilled, joyless, thankless, bitter, lonely, poor, and unpleasant I will be. By contrast, focusing more on GOD helps me to see myself as I am in comparison to His greatness which is humbling and helps me be more thankful and joyful as a result of His love, mercy and grace.
Scriptures dealing with selfishness include:
- Cain regarding Abel's whereabouts (Gen. 4:9)—Am I my brother's keeper?
- Tribes of Gad and Reuben wanted the land east of the Jordan (Num. 32).
- The one who withholds grain and won't sell it (Prov. 11:24-26).
- The one who will not give to the poor (Prov. 28:27).
- The irresponsible shepherds of Israel were selfish (Eze. 34:1-10).
- The people of Israel had also behaved selfishly (Eze. 34:17-22).
- The judges and priests of Israel acted selfishly (Mic. 3:11).
- The remnant who returned from exile built their own nice houses and left the temple in ruins (Hag. 1:4).
- The rich young ruler loved his possessions too much (Matt. 19:16-22).
- Those who lend hoping to receive back might have a selfish attitude (Luke 6:34).
- The Christian who harms his brother (causes him to stumble) over "doubtful things" (Rom. 14:15).
- The Christian is told to bear with the weak rather than to please themselves (Rom. 15:1-3).
- The Christian should seek the other's well-being as opposed to their own (1 Cor. 10:24; Phil. 2:3-4).
- The Christian should bear each other's burdens (Gal. 6:2).
- In the last days men would be lovers of themselves (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
- The Christian is to actually help those in need and not just speak kind words to them (Jam. 2:15-17; 1 John 3:17).