Ever had an epiphany? An “aha” moment that seemingly comes out of nowhere {sometimes when you should really be focusing on something else?} That’s what happened to me last Sunday morning in church. 


As I sat with my three children, one of whom was fidgeting with her dress, one who was absorbed in his Bible’s picture maps and another who was trying to eat the hymnal, it occurred to me suddenly that I had been acting selfishly towards someone close to me. This person had something that I wanted–desperately. And although I hadn’t expressed my selfish attitude in action, my heart and mind were putting my own interests and desires first.

I felt myself sinking lower in my seat as this dawned on me, my mind wandering for a bit from the sermon {sorry, honey!}. It was then that these verses from Philippians popped into my mind.


“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
hand heartIt isn’t always easy to act unselfishly, is it? The world tells us to put ourselves first and foremost, exactly the opposite of what we are called to do in these verses. 

But when we begin to consider again the truth that Christ put us first in his every action and thought, during his life on earth and death on the cross, we are humbled at His sacrifice. What an example! What a privilege to come to Jesus with our failures and receive His help with “regarding others better than ourselves.”

I realized as I sat in my pew that it was more important to put the happiness of others first, regardless of what that means for my hopes and desires. As I asked for forgiveness for this internal sin that had carried on for months, I felt the burden of my failure lifted by the grace of God. Certainly this doesn’t remove my want, but through this the Lord can change my focus!

I’m thankful that God is working in me each day to “will and to act according to His good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). Each day, with the help of the Lord and the Word to guide us, we can turn our selfishness into the selflessness that mirrors the attitude of Christ.

Is there a situation in your life where God has guided you from selfishness to selflessness? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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7 Comments on Selfishness to Selflessness

  1. Found you via WLWW. :)

    This is something I struggle with constantly. I realized a couple years ago that selfishness is my worst trait. I’m glad I finally realized it, but it’s something I still fight against.

    I find that if I keep busy doing things for others, my actions will be more selfless…and that will lead to my thoughts being more selfless as well. I guess it works some of the time, at least–a dear friend said to me recently, “You hardly ever do anything without thinking of someone else.” That meant so much to me. Apparently I’m winning the war, if not every battle! :)

    • “Pressing on toward the goal”, right? The Lord can help us take the focus off of ourselves and use us for His glory! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. I have those a-ha moments all the time, and it seems to happen a lot in church about things totally unrelated to the sermon of the day (or maybe triggered by a verse given or statement made, but still unrelated to the whole message)…I’ve decided maybe I’m just more atuned to what God is saying in that moment.

    I think selfishness is a human condition and one that we always have to fight against. If you think about it, selfishness can be found at the root of nearly every sin, if not every single one. Definitely need to fight against that and try to be more like Christ instead.

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one whose mind “wanders” during the sermon ;) It’s for a good reason though, when you really hear God speak to you!

      I love the point you made about selfishness being the root of many sins. I thought about that a lot this afternoon and it really resonated with me…gotta submit myself to the Lord and weed it out!

  3. My sister and I were just talking about selfishness last night. Amazing post Jenn. I like how you said we can turn our selfishness into selflessness that mirrors the attitude of Christ!

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