Topic: The Journey Toward Unselfishness [Monday March 27, 2017]
. . . I die daily [I face death every day and die to self]. — 1 Corinthians 15:31
Selfishness is not learned behavior; we are born with it. The Bible refers to it as “sin nature.” Adam and Eve sinned against God by doing what He told them not to do, and the sin principle they established was forever passed to every person who would ever be born. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins, and to deliver us from them. He came to undo what Adam did.
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He comes to live in our spirit, and if we allow that renewed part of us to rule our decisions, we can overcome the sin nature in our flesh. It doesn’t go away, but the greater One Who lives in us helps us overcome it daily (see Galatians 5:16). That does not mean that we never sin, but we can improve and make progress throughout our lives.
I certainly cannot say I have overcome selfishness entirely—none of us can on this side of eternity. But that doesn’t mean we don’t do everything we can to grow closer to God and die to our selfishness. We can have hope of improving daily. I am on a journey and, although I may not arrive, I have determined that when Jesus comes to take me home He will find me pressing toward this goal (see Philippians 3:12-13).
The apostle Paul made the following statement: . . . It is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me (Galatians 2:20). Paul meant that he was no longer living for himself and his own will, but for God and His will. I was greatly encouraged when I discovered through study that Paul made this statement approximately twenty years after his conversion. Learning to live unselfishly was a journey for him, just as it is for everyone else.
Paul also said, . . . I die daily . . . (1 Corinthians 15:31). In other words, putting others first was a daily battle and required daily decisions. Each of us must decide how we will live and what we will live for; and there is no better time to do so than right now.
Trust in Him: Are you pressing toward the goal of living for God rather than yourself? Dying to yourself is a process that you can improve daily. Trust God to give you the strength to die to yourself daily.