WHAT TO DO WITH “SELF”
As one considers the philosophies of this world and the philosophies set forth in the teachings of the New Testament, it becomes apparent that there are vast differences. One area where these differences are so vivid is in the attitude that one has toward “self”. The world tends to view “self” as the center of attention and the ambition of those with this worldly philosophy is to please and satisfy “self”, to promote “self” and to make “self” priority number one.
When this attitude is taken into relationships, the results are devastating. How many times in our society do we see communities, churches and even families torn apart by this selfish worldly philosophy? When this philosophy is taken into the marriage relationship, it is a guarantee of unhappiness and that marriage will likely fail.
Yet, in the New Testament, the teachings of Jesus Christ promote a much different philosophy than that of the world. In Matthew 16:24, Jesus states: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself….” Yes, to be a disciple of Christ we must first rid ourselves of this self-centered, worldly philosophy.
In Mark 9:33-35, Jesus responds to an argument which His disciples were having concerning which of them was the greatest. In verse 35, Jesus states: “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last and servant of all.”
We are told in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, that this attitude of self-denial is one of the characteristics of love. “Love is not self-seeking.” In Philippians 2:3-4 we are told, Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a place where everyone holds to this philosophy of self-denial, where everyone considers others better than “self”, where everyone is concerned more with the interests of others than the interests of “self”? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful place to live? It would be almost like “HEAVEN”.
-Wendell Ingram, 2008