Tired of fighting selfishness

3 Dec

Do you know why we have these moments in life when we

-blow up?

-make a mental list of all the things someone has recently done to treat me poorly, failed to do often enough or correctly, or just plain do that is annoying?



We just get tired of fighting selfishness.  Maybe you’re not a selfish person.  I am.  Scripture says in Ephesians 5:29  “29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church” which in context is being used to describe how men should love their wives, as they love and care for themselves.

I think it’s relevant to notice that it doesn’t then say simply “After all, no MAN ever” (even though men are being addressed here) I think it purposely says “NO ONE” because we ALL love ourselves.

And that’s what selfishness is, a love for ourselves exaggerated to the point of coming before anyone and everyone else.


When the temptations are heavy to make a list of all the things *I wish* my husband was doing, or could do better, or should/shouldn’t be doing, I immediately recognize that my strength to fight off my selfishness is very weak.

I’ve already mentioned on this blog a million times over, I have a HUGE list of struggles, sins, short-comings, weakness and so forth myself.  Selfishness says, ignore that you aren’t perfect, and make that long and descriptive list about how your spouse (or ANYONE else) is a failure instead.


When I am spending more time yelling and being frustrated with my children than being joyful, it’s because my selfishness is through the roof.  I don’t want to be bothered by their needs, a spilled mess, a sibling fight, or anything else that requires me to stop doing what I’d rather be doing and tend to them.

The same goes for holding a grudge against someone. I’m simply saying, “I (my feelings) matter more than yours and more than God’s commands to forgive.”

I’m not going to forgive you because you hurt ME.  How dare you do something to ME? If I hurt you, it’s only because you hurt ME first.

As much as I recognize this… I haven’t become any less selfish.  I’m still selfish every day.  And I grow tired of fighting my selfishness every day.

But I have started trying to implement a practical application, and while I’m not flawless at it yet, I think it’s helping (at least with the mental aspects.)

Practical Application-

When I first notice I’m starting to make a list of someone’s failures, start raising my voice at my kids, struggle to let go of an offense … I have to make a conscious decision to take a couple of minutes to gain perspective.

That prayer may look something like this:

“God, I confess right now that I am exhausted from fighting off selfishness.  I really just want to be angry right now and tend to my own feelings and needs.  Give me the strength I need to gain perspective over this situation and refuse to make a mental or verbal list of this person’s failures/shortcomings — to set aside my project and help the kids with theirs with a joyful heart — to forgive this person AGAIN when they really don’t deserve it … because in my own strength I’m going to fail miserably.  Help me do this in a way that pleases and honors You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

It’s amazing how your strength will return when your perspective is aligned with Christ’s.


2 Responses to “Tired of fighting selfishness”

  1. Lavishlyloved December 3, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Ouch! So true. Learning to recognize that these moments of struggle are often preceded by an imbalance in my life ~ not enough rest; not slowing down & connecting enough with those I love; not checking with God & my husband before saying “Yes!”; not resting in God’s love & approval… that sort of thing -the kind that leaves me vulnerable, exposed, weaker. I do rejoice more & more of late that I can see the truth now -the truth of my sin & my need of Him -wouldn’t it be terrible to still be where we couldn’t see it? It all makes me more fully aware of my desperate need of Him -of His goodness & grace. This song speaks of that deep need of Him ~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0bSTs2KnAs

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