Summary: We live in the "ME" generation. The World has become exceedingly selfish but God’s Word calls us to be selfless rather than selfish.
The "ME" Generation
- We live in the "ME" generation
- Everything is about self
- "Get all you can get"
- "It’s my way or the highway"
- "If it feels good do it"
- "He who dies with the most toys, wins"
- There is even a magazine called SELF
- This generation can easily be called the most self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, self-centered, self-complacent, selfish generation in all of history
- How things have changed in the last 50 yrs, 25 yrs
Signs of the "ME" Generation
(Generation of Extreme Selfishness)
- Energy Crisis
- Pollution (global & local)
- Can’t return a shopping cart to the rack
- Aggressive Driving & Road Rage
- Back-stabbing & jockeying for position
- Abundance of divorce
- However, selfishness is not new to this generation, it is just openly celebrated in this time
- "There is nothing new under the sun" - Ecc 1:9
Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
- This flies in the face of what the world teaches
- The world says, "What’s in it for me"
- God’s Word says, "Your own personal gain should never be a motivating factor"
Phil 2:3b "but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."
- But in humbleness, true humility
- Think of others as more important
- Minister - Serve
James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
- Jealousy and Selfishness go hand-in-hand
- Where these two are allowed to exist, everything else evil comes right along with it
EXAMPLES OF SELFISHNESS & SELFLESSNESS
Selfish - Concerned chiefly or only with oneself,
- Manifests from the carnal nature
Selfless - Motivated by no concern for oneself,
- Manifests from a godly nature
5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.
- Selfishness will callous your heart to do whatever is necessary to watch-out for #1
- We will lie, pout, manipulate, cheat
- Ananias tried to lie and cheat God
- Peter said, "No one was making you do this"
- Because of his selfishness, he opened a door for satan to enter in
- God receives no glory or pleasure from anything done out of selfish ambition
- When Jesus comes into your life, He brings a thing called "agape"
- This love makes our own desires second to those around us - pure motivation
32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. 36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus, 37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
- Look at the true selflessness here
- This is true Christianity demonstrated
- A mark of a true Christian is how unselfish they are
THREE CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUE SELFLESSNESS
1. These Christians graduated from an "I" Mentality to a "We" Mentality
- These early Christians took the focus off of themselves
- Our neighbors received a call Friday
2. They gave out of their hearts - not out of compulsion, not out of coercesion, not out of show for others
- No one was forcing them or hyping them up to give, they gave out of a pure heart