If you read my blog yesterday , You know that I believe it's possible to be self-centered from both sides of the 'have vs have-not' spectrum.
Selfishness leads us to excuse our own bad behavior while seeing others' quite clearly. We can justify our selfishness by saying we 'deserve' what we can get...but if we are followers of Jesus Christ, He calls us to a much Better Way!
He calls us to be generous!
To be willing to give away our money...but also our time, our talents, and so on.
He calls us to rise to new heights of behavior, motivated by a new kind of love...God's love...for others.
Remember that Jesus, when challenged about the 'Greatest of the Commandments', said "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind"--this is the first and greatest commandment; and the second is like it: "You must love your neigbor as yourself"." (Matthew 22:37-39)
He said that the "Entire Law and the (teaching of the) prophets are fulfilled in these 2 commandments" (Matthew 22:40)
In other words, if we want to please God, then our Top Priorities are to love Him above all else, and love others as ourselves.
That means (among many other things), being generous!
Generosity is not only the opposite of selfishness, it's also the antidote to it!
If we can rise above our self-centeredness and learn to give--even when times are tough; even when it seems as though others are getting ahead (even if by unfair practises); even when we feel justified in making demands--we can experience that blessing of God working through us!
If we will focus on being God's "conduit of love" in practical ways--such as generosity--I believe He will notice. What's more, I believe He will bless us for doing so!
Jesus said "Seek first His Kingdom, and His righeousness, and all these things (ie, your needs) will be given to you." (Matthew 6:34).
We also read in the Scripture that "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)
How cool would it be if God's people...Christ followers...would live this out consistently! How amazed would the rest of this world be if we rose above the clamor of the current 'I want what you have' mindset and became generous agents of blessing in this world!
God could do something pretty powerful in our hearts...and through our lives...if we were willing to do that. That's what He did in the early Church (see Acts 2, 4), and that's part of the reason that it changed the world--through love, faith...and generosity!
May God give us that spirit again today!
May the "song" of our lives sing--for HIS glory!