Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.
— Philippians 2:4 (AMPC)
My abusive childhood made me afraid that no one would ever take care of me, so I made a vow in my mind that I would never need anyone and that I would take care of myself. I was selfish, but Jesus died so we could be free from living selfish, self-centered lives (see 2 Corinthians 5:15).
Many people have great lives, yet they are unhappy. The reason they are not happy is that they are selfish. We cannot be selfish and happy at the same time.
In Philippians 4:5, Paul tells the Philippians that since Jesus is coming soon, they should be careful not to be selfish:Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is coming soon] (AMPC). This verse helps us understand how vitally important it is not to allow ourselves to become selfish.
Experience has taught me that I can fight selfishness with generosity, but I have to be generous on purpose. Our natural inclination is to do what is best for us at all times, but with God’s help, we can resist that temptation and be concerned for others as well as for ourselves.
Prayer Starter: Father, I know I cannot be selfish and happy at the same time. I want to be happy, so help me to be as unselfish as I possibly can, amen.