An overwhelming focus on self characterizes the world we live in today. Whether through our social media platforms, advertisements, or daily interactions, we are constantly told to put ourselves first and prioritize our personal happiness. However, as Christians, we are called to a higher standard. Our spiritual development is not just about our gain but our commitment to pleasing God and blessing those around us.
The Bible teaches us that a preoccupation with self can be crippling to our spiritual development. Therefore, to mature in Christ, we must consistently replace our focus on self with a commitment to please God and be a blessing to others. This is not always easy, as our feelings and desires often get in the way. But as believers, we must obey God's Word in every situation, be content with what He has given us, and discipline ourselves for godliness.
Matthew 10:38-39 tells us that we must be willing to take up our cross and follow Jesus, sacrificing our desires for the sake of His kingdom. Similarly, in Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus commands us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This means our love and concern must extend beyond ourselves to our neighbors and the world.
Romans 6:12-13 and Galatians 5:16-26 also remind us that we must actively struggle against our selfish desires and seek to live by the Spirit. We cannot simply coast through life, hoping to prioritize ourselves, and you're faith will grow without effort. Instead, we must discipline ourselves for godliness, training ourselves to think and act in a way that aligns with God's will.
Furthermore, Timothy 4:7 and 6:6-8 reminds us that pursuing personal gain and material wealth is ultimately empty and meaningless. Therefore, our focus should not be on accumulating more for ourselves but on using the resources and gifts that God has given us to serve Him and bless others.
Finally, Hebrews 13:5 and I Peter 1:13-16 encourage us to be content with what God has given us, trusting that His plan for our lives is good and perfect. While it may be tempting to compare ourselves to others or strive for more constantly, we must remember that our ultimate goal is to please God and bless those around us.
In conclusion, as Christians, we must resist the temptation to focus solely on ourselves and our gain. Instead, we must commit to pleasing God and blessing others, disciplining ourselves for godliness. Of course, this requires ongoing effort and struggles against our desires and the messages of the world around us. But by trusting in God's plan for our lives and seeking to live by His Word, we can experience spiritual growth and fulfillment.