how to know if you are selfish


Am I Selfish?
By Theo Stringer

Whether we want to admit it or not; "most of us are self-centered more or less to some degree." We see ourselves as the center of our own universe. However the problem is; "we are not the sun and we surely are not God." Those of us who have received this revelation have realized that only Jesus is the answer to life. Our focus then was on Jesus instead of ourselves, and thus we accepted Him as our Lord and Savior.

The thing is when we became Christians we ignorantly brought our self-centered mind-set with us, and thus we continued to live self-centered lives instead of Christ-centered lives. We saw sufficiency within ourselves, and we (for the most part) were our own focus instead of Jesus. We were like little children who need to grow up. In fact the bible calls the new believer carnal Christians. These new believers are controlled by their own selfish desires because they are babes in Christ.

Babies see everything from their point of view, and everything must revolve around them for them to be happy. When it doesn't, they throw a tantrum to show their displeasure. There is nothing wrong with a baby being a baby, nonetheless babies should grow. As new Christians (babes in Christ) should allow God to work in their lives so that they can grow, and thus resulting in more of Jesus' life being revealed in them and through them.

However there are Christians who have not allowed the Holy Spirit to work in them (although it may be in ignorance) as God desires, and consequently they have not grown spiritually as they should. They too are controlled by their selfish desires, and although they should have grown into mature believers they remain as babes. This in essence gives place for Satan to work in their lives. So they continue to live self-centered lives instead of Christ-centered lives just as new believers (babes in Christ), and they too are carnal Christians.

As long as we are the focal point of our lives instead of Jesus, either we will be the heroes or the victims in life. "We will want all the glory and push all the blame." So to either extreme, we are focal point of life.

While looking to ourselves we often judge circumstances and others according to our estimation. However if we have logs in our own eyes, it is very difficult to see anything much less the splinters that are in our brothers and sisters eyes. This condition of near-sightedness only allows us to see distorted images of things, which includes ourselves. Until the Holy Spirit reveals to us that Jesus alone is the center of our being, we will continue to live self-centered lives.

This is the reason for many of the problems in Christian homes as well as our churches. For instance, we are often offended as well as offend others when our focus is on ourselves rather than Jesus, and so we fall prey to Satan. How is it that Satan can cause born-again believers in Christ to be distracted from Jesus?

There is no way that Satan can force our attention away from Jesus. Jesus is Lord, and He keeps us. However James said concerning temptation; "And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father.." (James 1:13-17A NLT).

Notice that temptations come to us from Satan to draw us out. However the effectiveness of the enticement does not depend upon the adversary, but rather on us yielding to our desire of the lure. So we need to be aware that all temptations may not appear to be sinful or evil.

Let us look at an example in the life of Jesus. After He had fasted for forty days and nights Jesus was very hungry, "And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread" (Luke 4:3). Jesus was famished and needed food. However to receive advice from the devil on how to get it is not God's way. God is our infinite supply and not the devil, and thus; "Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).

So it does not matter how good something may appear to be, or how dire the need remember the words of James, "...don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father..." Nothing good comes from the devil! Hence we always look to God who supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (see Philippians 4:19).

When we are distracted we ignorantly perceive that something else can harm (even though Jesus is there) or help us (independently of Jesus). So we abandon our faith in Christ as being all we need in that moment because we have more faith or fear in something other than Jesus. During this time we see ourselves separate from Him, and thus we have no confidence in Jesus to be what life's moment requires.

The apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10; "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,.." The meaning of "know" that Paul spoke about here is not a casual knowing, or taking in facts. To know here means to know by or in experience. We have been united with Jesus by the Holy Spirit, and therefore Christ is in us, and we are in Him. Through this union the Holy Spirit reveals Christ to us, and thus we know Him.

Hence we realize that Jesus is all we need in every moment in life. Thus our lives are a continual look to Him for life and all things that make up our lives.

"Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection" (Hebrews12:2A AMP).

By Theo Stringer

Theory Stringer is the Pastor of the Community House of Prayer, and president and founder of Cherubim Communications. He is the author of 4 books that are designed to help ordinary people experience the abundant life. Find out more about how you can get your Christian manuscript published, as well as read the many articles available at:

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how to know if you are selfish


how to know if you are selfish