Selfish & Self-Centered


I like myself for the most part. If I could change some physical features to improve my appearance, I would take care of that. I like myself better some days rather than others. If all I cared about was me, I wouldn’t have my beautiful family. When I became a Dad over 30 years ago, I became less selfish at that time more than any other time. Children are born completely dependent on their parents for everything it seems. I have developed a love for children and I will sacrifice anything and everything I have for them. It’s almost automatic. I would give up my life to save any one of my children.  With all of that said, I am still selfish. I still like what I like when I like it. I like my routines. I like the last piece of cake. I like things to go my way. I want my kids to love me. I am a bit selfish and self-centered after all.

I came across this passage in Philippians right before Paul describes Jesus’ attitude so thoroughly and poetically. He speaks to humility and selfish ambition and I felt “smacked around” a bit. Check this out…

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:3-4 CSB)

I saw a two “absolutes” in this passage…

Nothing – no exceptions

Everyone – that’s really everyone – not just people I know and like

I still struggle with selfish ambition and conceit. I am learning that when I serve others, I end up being blessed beyond words. Zig Ziglar used to say: “If you help enough people get what they want, then you’ll get what you want.” Serving others is thinking about them and honoring them. Serving others is putting their interests in front of my interests. Serving others is making them more important than me.

It’s easy to serve people I know and like. It’s the jerks that drive me nuts. I don’t like serving jerks, but if I’m not careful I can become one. If I learn to serve even the jerks and “smart-mouthed” people, I’m growing to be more like Jesus. He was the perfect example of humility. I recently confronted another person as gently as I knew about how they were talking to me and treating me – I was really frustrated. I felt like the Lord helped me make a friend out a person who was being a bit of a jerk. This is not easy and I still don’t have it down pat, but I do want to serve others because as a Christ follower, I’m called to do that. It’s not optional – it’s a command and a part of His DNA. If I want to be more like Jesus, it starts with humility and serving.

Pressing On!



Businesswoman drawing plan of AuditThis word doesn’t leave options on the table and it doesn’t have exceptions. Everything is the total with nothing else left – ALL. It’s hard for me to grasp this concept, because I live in a world of options, exceptions and exemptions. There are not asterisks (*) by the word everything; it all encompassing and complete. I’m sure I’ve described that something or someone is “everything to me” that is simply not true. There are people who say this in relationships, business situations and quite frankly it is not true. Life does move on after a broken relationship and another job or business opportunity comes along after one fails. Everything is such an all-encompassing word, I think I need to be careful how and when I use it.

Solomon has written some of the Psalms and I came across one that he wrote, evidently shortly after he was king. He prayed some bold and audacious prayers for God to lead and provide for him. He then ended with an “everything” statement that I can take hold of. Check this out…

18 Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel,
    who alone does marvelous deeds.
19 Praise be to his glorious name forever;
    may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen. (Psalm 72:18-19 NIV)

I don’t see the word “everything” in this passage, but it certainly settled in my heart after reading the whole passage. Solomon wants to be a strong king and a great leader. He prays boldly and asked God to bless him. He wants to live longer than the sun and do these noble accomplishments, but he ends this passage with profound perspective. God alone, does marvelous deeds. Solomon is nothing without the Lord. Solomon can do nothing without the Lord. God oversees everything. Nothing escapes His notice.

I started taking this passage personal because I want to be a strong and capable leader. I want to bring blessings to others. I want to serve the Lord by serving others. I really want the Lord to be my EVERYTHING. I want to notice that He blessed me with my wife and children. He blessed me with amazing co-workers and partners. He blessed me with EVERYTHING I have, know, experienced or have seen. With Him, I have EVERYTHING, but without Him, I am nothing.

Pressing On!