A pastor and friend told me about ten years ago that getting married would teach me how selfish I am, and that having children would really teach me how selfish I am.
Now, after almost nine years of marriage and with three children, I can confidently affirm that he was right! On multiple occasions every day my selfishness is exposed by the normal demands of my responsibilities as father and husband. This is a good thing, I need to be aware of my sins.
Each time I’m confronted with my selfishness I have an opportunity to be obedient to Christ. At that moment, as selfishness rises in my heart, I have an opportunity to deny myself (Matthew 16:24) and consider others more than myself (Philippians 2:3).
Obedience to Jesus, or specifically my lack of it, is a cause of great disillusionment to me. Realism assures me that even a day is too long for me to be consistently obedient to Christ in all I do, let alone all I think. How can I possibly live in a fallen world and obey Jesus? Yet that is what He demands (John 15:14). It is not good enough to claim to know Jesus, I must obey Him (1 John 2:4-6).
So when selfishness rises within me I can choose in that moment to consider the love of Christ toward me and lay aside my own desires to do the one, usually quite small, thing that is being required of me right now when I do have the ability to obey. The battle with sin can be won, in my mind, in milliseconds, by acting in love rather than selfishness.
Thank you Lance.