Can you think of some selfish-people quotes? You know, things selfish people say? I can pretty easily, because I’m as selfish as a lobster. No more bad jokes. That was shellfish of me.
Before we jump in, clam I tell you something? Okay, seriously, that was the last joke.*
I’m not an only child, not raised wealthy, nor any other inaccurate stereotype of what a selfish person might be. I am actually one of seven brothers raised in a pastor’s family. But I’m still selfish. When I was 21, I got married and realized I was really selfish. Have you done that? I started to work on it and thought I was making progress. Then we had our first child and, wow. I realized a whole new level of wanting it my way. After a bit, I thought having a kid had helped, then we had a second, third, and fourth, and mostly they just helped me to see more of my selfishness.
After four kids and ten years of marriage, with another baby on the way, I am still constantly struggling to treat others the way I want to be treated. Can you relate? You know what I’ve realized? The only thing that stands a chance against selfishness is constantly saying yes to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit’s voice. For instance, if you read “love your neighbor as yourself” and one day the Holy Spirit nudges you to pay your neighbor extra for babysitting, you say yes. When you read “love your enemies” and one day you sense the Spirit leading you to apologize to that co-worker, you say yes. When you read God’s Word and obey His commands, you become less, and He becomes greater. Actually, becoming less is really the only way to become full of more joy, life, and hope than you’ve ever imagined.
Okay, here are 10 selfish-people quotes and their selfless replacements.
- When we pay off our debt, we’ll start giving more.
Selfless: We’ll give and not hold back. (Proverbs 21:26)
- The neighbors are driving down the value of my home.
Selfless: Hey, I know you’ve been busy lately, and I have an open weekend. When’s a good time to come help with your yard? I know you’d do the same for me. (Matthew 7:12)
- I’m sure someone else has already invited them to church.
Selfless: Do you want to come church with me? You’d be welcome to join us for lunch afterward, too. (Matthew 28:19)
- Maybe next time.
Selfless: You know what? I’d love to. (Luke 6:30)
- I wish I could help you, but I don’t have any cash on me.
Selfless: How are you? Can we get you someplace warm to eat? (Luke 10:25-37)
- I want to pray more, but the morning is like a circus in my house.
Selfless: When I put God first, everything else gets in line. (Proverbs 3:6)
- That’s great, but did you hear what I did?
Selfless: *nods *smiles *listens (James 1:19)
- I worked hard for what I have—they can do the same.
Selfless: I share with others because Jesus said that’s how I share with Him. (Matthew 25:40)
- Sorry sweetheart, Daddy’s really busy.
Selfless: Puts down phone, “Come here. Will you show me that again?” (Matthew 19:14)
- I’ll serve and volunteer more when I retire or when I have less work.
Selfless: I started serving, and now it’s like a breath of fresh air every week. (Proverbs 11:25)
Have fun as you start saying yes to God. It’s the best adventure ever.
*I couldn’t help it. Do you know where shellfish go to borrow money? A prawn shop.