Am I Selfish?

Read James 3:14-16.

14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

The world can be a battleground. From online comments to the realm of politics, there are people ready to fight, and the person getting in the last word wins. When words are driven by ego, however, they are not wise. Bitter jealousy and selfish ambition do not reflect wisdom, but instead are devilish and lead to disaster. The original meaning of “bitter” includes the idea of malignancy. If we envision these attitudes as “cancerous,” it may help us perceive their danger, and encourage us to want them removed. C.S. Lewis expressed in a poem, “I never had a selfless thought since I was born. I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through: I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.” We must ask the Holy Spirit to help us see ourselves honestly. We may need surgery.

See also Galatians 5:19.

19The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

© 2017 Schweitzer United Methodist Church
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