The capacity of the artist to be an almost entirely self-absorbed person is startling. We can mask it in a hundred ways, even with veils of altruism and empathy, but the litany of “me” keeps a relentless refrain.
Some people just want to pay their bills, raise their children, and then retire. They know they can work hard, mind their own business, still accomplish these goals, and maybe even own a boat when they retire.
I cannot think of a more selfish way to live than to spend one’s life only to pay one’s bills. You see, there is a whole world out there needing our help.
The unwillingness to do one’s best is un-Christian and nothing less than selfishness. Those who love others and want to please God know that money is important and do everything they can to succeed. They are truly the unselfish ones.
When we shift from personal purity to personal happiness, we lose biblical hope because we are not focusing on God’s agenda, we are focusing on our own. God’s agenda is guaranteed on our agenda is not.
If you seek Him because you love Him, and not for your own agenda’s sake to be successful or noticed, you will not go wrong.
Spiritual lust makes me demand an answer from God, instead of seeking God Who gives the answer.
Religion [Christian Faith] should never become the subject of selfishness, yet I fear some treat it as if its chief end were personal spiritual gratification. When a man’s religion totally lies in saving only himself and in enjoying holy things for himself, there is a disease within him. When his judgment of a sermon is based on the one question, “Did it feed me?” it is a swinish judgment. There is such a thing as getting a swinish religion in which you are yourself first, yourself second, yourself third, yourself to the utmost end. Did Jesus think or speak in that fashion? Contemplation of Christ Himself may be carried out so as to lead you away from Him. The recluse meditates on Jesus, but he is as unlike the busy, self-denying Jesus as any can be. Meditation, unattended by active service in the spreading of the Gospel among men, well deserves the rebuke of the angel, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven?”
We sometimes come to God, not because we love Him best, but because we love our possessions best; we ask Christ to save Western civilization, without asking ourselves whether it is entirely a civilization that Christ could want to save. We pray, too often, not to do God’s will, but to enlist God’s assistance in maintaining our continually increasing consumption. And yet, though Christ promised that God would feed us, he never promised that God would stuff us to bursting.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries, avoiding all entanglements; lock it up safe in the coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket; safe, dark, motionless, airless- it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
In the final analysis our great problem with holiness is not that our concepts of holiness are feeble, but that our hearts are rebellious. We are selfish, that’s our problem. And the fact that we often won’t admit our selfishness shows how deep the pride goes.
Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way!