"More selfish than you think" - 2012/9/05 - KL pending
We are all more selfish than we think. I say it all the time, "Selfishness is the enemy in relationships." We live in a reality where we all have a God given desire (GGD) for romance and marriage. However, right there lurking behind every seemingly good relationship is our sinful nature. We constantly feel the gravitational pull of our selfishness. Deep down, if we are honest, we would have to admit that selfishness is a bad way to build a relationship. But that's the problem, we know it's wrong but we do it anyway. In virtually every marriage I've ever seen, I have witnessed the presence of selfishness. In some cases, it is very subtle in others, it is blatant. Until we do something about our selfishness, we will NOT have the kind of marriage that we long for.
So, what do we do. I wish there was an easy answer, the answer is simple but not easy.
1. Admit you are selfish. Sounds easy, right? Sure we can all admit selfishness with a casual, "sure I'm selfish like everyone else." However, there is a resistance in us when it comes to truly admitting that we are causing problems in the relationship. We know that this sort of confession opens us up to the criticism of our spouse and is the first step in losing something we thought we had to have to be happy. This is critical to understand. Because of selfishness, we cling tightly to anything that we feel promises us the win. We want to feel good and get our way. It is no easy task to give that up. Step one...admit that your selfishness is THE problem. After all, it's the only problem you have any real control over.
2. Ask for God's help. Again, sounds easy. God invites us to come to Him with any need or issue. In this case, we come to Him, recognizing that we are unable to fix the selfishness problem in us. It's kinda like trying to straighten out a coat hanger. You can try really hard, you can even get really close but it is virtually impossible to remove the twists and bends in a coat hanger. This is our situation with our selfishness. We simply cannot straighten out our selfishness. We need God's help. Only He can work out that selfish bent we all have. This is where i often speak of surrender. Surrender is when we come to God, hands up, and say, "God i cannot do this. I know i need to change but i need your help!" this is a prayer God LOVES to answer! Beware, His answer will likely not be a quick fix like a magician pulling a rabbit out of his hat. God works with us in the process of dealing with our sin struggles. You must play a part.
3. Accept the responsibility. God will give you His strength and wisdom. God will bless you with His power and direction. He will bring to mind those attitudes, words and actions for which you must take responsibility. This will blow your mind. You will be more aware of your selfishness than ever. This can often feel very depressing, but remember this is God's process to change you. He is eager to see you grow, but you have old selfish habits, and habits die hard. When God brings your selfishness to mind you must make a different choice. Sometimes God will simply give you a fresh and selfLESS idea. Your selfish side will try to convince you to avoid God's leading, don't listen. Do what God leads you to do. Remember, if it's UN-selfish, it's from God.
I see far too many damaged and broken marriages. As I coach people in marriage, the selfishness issue is the problem. No real, lasting or positive change can take place until we deal with selfishness. Give it a shot. Admit you are selfish. Ask for God's help. Accept the responsibility.
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