Hebrews 13:6 (ESV) says, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” However, there are many of us who do not follow the advice in this passage of Scripture. According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, selfishness is the act of being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. There are a number of examples of selfish people in the Bible from which we all can learn valuable lessons because selfishness remains among us, still, today. We can be as selfish as we choose to be, but it will never win; it will always come back to haunt us. One of the most prime examples of selfishness in the Bible is the story of Cain and Abel. Cain was jealous of his brother Abel’s sacrifice to God. As a result, Cain sinfully and selfishly murdered his own brother. When God asked Cain of his brother’s whereabouts, he arrogantly lied to God, “I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9 KJV). God’s being the omnipotent God that He has always been already knew the answer, but He was testing Cain. Thus, God let Cain know that He was aware that he killed his brother. Cain was the oldest, so he was supposed to be his “brother’s keeper.” Instead of being a guardian for his brother, he killed him out of jealousy. As a result, God punished Cain heavily: “When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth,” (Genesis 4:12 KJV). Consequently, selfishness never wins. It ultimately destroys. Another eye-opening illustration of selfishness in the Bible is the selfish attitude of David, which caused him to seek fulfillment of his own pleasures with no regard to the cost in getting them. His selfish pursuit of pleasure caused him to sin with Bathsheba. His selfishness then led to lies and murder (II Samuel 11). God did not allow David’s sin to go unpunished. He sent the prophet Nathan to expose the sin of David and to announce God’s judgment upon him. Like David, far too many people today are selfishly pursuing pleasure with no regard for either consequences or the impact of their actions upon others (“Examples of Selfishness”). David caused the death of an innocent man, all because he desired this man’s wife. Again, selfishness never wins; it hurts and causes emotional and physical pain. God expects us to show concern for each other. Philippians 2:4 (ESV) confirms, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” If you know that you are suffering from the sin of selfishness, pray and ask God to heal you from such before you self-destruct. God is able, and He looks at man’s heart.
Always abound in the faith, and never leave home without Him!
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