WHEN others are set in their ways, they’re obstinate; when you are, it is firmness.
WHEN somebody doesn’t like your friend, he is prejudiced; when you don’t like his, you are a good judge of human nature.
WHEN others try to treat someone especially well, they’re slimy; when you try it, you are being thoughtful.
WHEN somebody takes time to do something well, he’s a slowpoke or lazy; when you do, you are deliberate and careful.
WHEN he spends a lot, he is wasteful; when you do, you’re generous.
WHEN someone sees flaws in everything, he’s cranky and critical; when you do, you are observant.
WHEN someone thinks he has a better way of doing something, he is arrogant; when you do, you are creative.
WHEN someone always voices his opinion, he is interfering; when you do, you are insightful.
WHEN someone overlooks injustice you call him weak; when you do, it is graciousness.
WHEN someone dresses especially well, that person is extravagant; when you do, it is being tasteful.
WHEN a stranger says what he thinks, he’s spiteful; when you do, you are being honest.
WHEN a friend takes great risks in business, he’s foolish; when you do, you are a wise planner.*[adapted from Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations #5498]
Such selfishness cannot be part of our lives as Christians.
2 Cor 5:15 & 17 Selfishness is contrary to our new nature
1 John 3:17-18 Our selfless nature should produce selfless deeds
1 Cor 10:23-24 something might be OK, but selfishly OK is not the standard, building others up is
Rom 12:4-5 members of the same body work together for the body’s sake, not separately for self’s sake
1 Cor 13:5 selfishness and love are mutually exclusive
James 3:13-16 Selfishness does not display Divine wisdom
1 Cor 9:22-23; 10:33 example of Paul putting Gospel before self
Rom 15:1 Think of your life since conversion as an “obligation” to others, not as a “right” about self
Rom 15:3 Jesus was not selfish
Are you ultimately your own standard, or are you putting to death all expressions of selfishness?