Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the series "Don't Be Discouraged". We must remember that it's not about us; but about Jesus.
Series: Don’t Be Discouraged [#5]
DON’T BE SELFISH
It seems that one of the greatest reasons that people are discouraged is bad relationships. It is true that when you are having relationship problems everything else seems to fall apart. One of the greatest killers of relationships is selfishness.
1 Peter 3:1-7 (NIV)
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
Wednesday night, Ryan and I was upstairs setting everything up for the Kid’s Praise service and since Ryan had it all done, I decided to glance at this morning’s text. As I was reading, I told Ryan that I wasn’t looking forward to preaching this sermon. Ryan asked why and I said because it is about submission. He then asked, “What is submission”? I can tell you that it’s not a very popular word. Here is a great definition of the word submission: Having the courage to give up my rights to meet another person's needs. This ability to be unselfish in our relationships is one of the main ingredients to learning to live God's way. There is 3 basic ways to live life. You can live life your way, God's way, or other's way.
1. Why should I be unselfish?
For some of you, selfishness in your life is working out just fine. "I'm getting my way and things are going great. Why should I be unselfish?" Peter gives 3 powerful reasons for us being unselfish in our lives.
Be unselfish because…
Selfishness is the source of conflict.
James 4:1 (NIV)
"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?"
It's the source of conflict in our home. You take our arguments, our conflicts, and boil them all down, and at the root of any of them, you'll find that someone, somewhere, somehow is being selfish. Of course in your arguments it's always the other person being selfish, but somewhere someone is being selfish- Sometimes it's us.
1 Peter 3:1-2 (NIV)
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
Be unselfish because…
Unselfishness is the secret to change.
Change is important in any relationship. That's what growth is all about. Even if you've got a great relationship, you should want it to change and develop. If you're really struggling in your relationship, of course you're desperate for change to begin to happen. How do we make change happen? How many of you have tried to push or argue somebody into making a change? How many of you have found that does not work? What does work to help people to change- Unselfishness? It is the most powerful tool that we have at our disposal to encourage other people to grow and to change. Jesus Christ was the most unselfish person who ever walked the face of this earth. He gave His life unselfishly for others.
1 Peter 3:7 (NIV)
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”
Be unselfish because…
Selfishness short circuits prayer.
The way that I act towards others affects by relationship to God. You can do it your way and depend upon yourself or you can do it God's way and depend upon God. Prayer is saying, "I'm depending on God." Obviously selfishness short circuits the power of prayer in our life. It's a matter of who we're depending on.