“Seriously, get over yourself!!”
Odds are that if someone said this to you, they didn’t mean it as a compliment. Because no matter how much we try to dress it up, most people are generally not attracted to those who are selfish.
Why? Because selfish people are always thinking about themselves.
They don’t think about how their words, actions or decisions affect others.
They aren’t considerate of other’s feelings or needs.
Since they aren’t team players, you can’t count on them. Instead, you usually feel like you need to be watching your back so they don’t turn on you if it serves their interests.
Whether it be family, friends, co-workers, the church or even society in general, every interaction is met with one standard: How does it affect me? (Honey, after 3 years old this just isn’t cute anymore)
It’s like no one ever told them that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Or perhaps they did.
Maybe the reason they are so obsessed with looking out for their own interests is that no one else ever did. Perhaps they learned at a very young age that they could only count on themselves to provide their needs, keep them safe, or stand up for their rights.
Eventually, survival became a habit.
Unfortunately, that habit is now keeping them from the healthy relationships and happy life they want as people don’t understand the “why”, they just see their repulsive selfish nature.
So what do you do if Selfishness is destroying your relationships and making you an unappealing person?
The answer is found in Philippians 2:1-8
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor:
Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends.
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.
Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead.
Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself.
He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all.
When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
You see, the Gospel of Jesus removes any and all excuses for selfishness.
The answer is in verse 1: “if His love has made any difference in your life,”
Looking back on your past, you may be felt unloved, unwanted, uncared for. You may have learned at some point in your life that selfishness is the only way to survive.
Honestly, your rationale may have been true---then.
However, when you come into relationship with Jesus, your days of being alone and uncared for came to an end. You can now rely on Him to be there for you, provide for you, fight your battles, and protect your interests. As a true daughter of God, you don’t have to go through life alone, simply surviving. Instead, you can rely on the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to thrive.
When you truly embrace His love and understand that He cares for you, you’ll be able to release your vice grip of selfishness and truly embrace things like humility, loving, caring for, and serving others.
It’s a whole new way of life in God’s kingdom that revolves around Jesus, not you.
So what are some practical steps you can take to overcome selfishness?
1. Spend time with Jesus getting to the root of the problem.
I know we say this over and over again, but it really is the first answer to every problem. Spend time with Jesus in prayer first of all admitting that you are selfish and then asking “Why am I this way?”
I truly believe the Holy Spirit will show you if you allow Him to do it.
2. Knowledge is power.
Once you begin to know why you act the way you do, you can begin working toward a solution. Again, this step may include mentor, a coach, or a counselor to help you overcome the issues of your past that make you selfish.
It also helps to learn identify when you are the most selfish---what triggers send you into “Me-Mode”. Knowing this helps you be on your guard in these situations and choose a different path.
Here’s a practical step:
3. Look up every Scripture in the Bible about: Selfishness, Pride, Humility & Servanthood.
Think about how each one can be applied to your life and write your discoveries down in a notebook.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the enormity of the task---you don’t have to do it all in one day.
Take 2-3 verses every day and meditate on them. Sure, it may take awhile to finish, but you didn’t become selfish in one day, who says you’ll overcome it quickly? As you continue letting the Word of God speak into your life day after day, you’ll be growing and changing a little at a time.
4. Find practical ways to be a servant.
As Philippians says, “Forget about yourselves long enough to give a helping hand."
Whether it be offering to get someone a cup of coffee, doing a friend or family member a favor, letting someone else have their way once in a while, or finding a way to volunteer and serve someone else, find ways to apply practical servanthood to your life.
I can absolutely guarantee you that as you start making the effort to serve others, the ugly unattractive monster of selfishness will diminish in your life, and others will be drawn to you as you demonstrate a heart of love, compassion, and concern.
And that’s a heart that’s truly attractive.