TOPIC: Overcoming A Preoccupation With Self
TEXT: Mt 10:37-39; 22:37-39: Rom 13:8-13: Gal.5:16-26
MEMORY VERSE: Jas 3:17
A focus on self is crippling to your spiritual development and must be putt off if you are to mature in Christ. As with all sinful deeds, your preoccupation with self must be consistently replaced by a commitment to please God and be a blessing to others. Regardless of your feelings or desires, you must obey God’s Word in every situation by being content with what God has given you and by disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness.
Sins such as self-belittlement, self exaltation, self-pity, envy, jealousy, covetousness, and greed indicate a severe preoccupation and focus on self. To overcome this unbiblical condition, review carefully the following discussion.
1. Think biblically:
a. Confess all sinful thoughts (1Jn 1:9) to God and ask for His help in changing this sinful pattern (Heb 4:15-16).
b. Develop a thought life that focuses on glorifying and pleasing God and being a blessing to others in all situations (2Cor 5:9; Phil 2:3-4; 4:8).
c. Find or remind yourself of ways to bless others, beginning with those against whom you have sinned through envy, jealousy, covetousness, or greed (Mt 5:38-48; Rom 12:9-21).
d. Commit to please the Lord in all things instead of living to gratify your fleshly desires (Rom 13:13-14; 2Cor 5:15; Col 1:10).
2. Speak biblically:
a. Let your speech be truthful, edifying, and gracious to others (Eph 4:15, 25, 29; Col 4:6) instead of being abusive or unedifying to those around you (Eph 5:4; Col 3:8). You are not to grumble or complain in any situation (Phil 2:4).
b. Do not talk about your past accomplishments (Pro 27:2; 2Cor 10:18), sorrows or defeats (Phil 3:13-14), worries about the future (Mt 6:34), comparisons between yourself and others (2Cor 10:12), or supposed personal accomplishments in the future (Pro 27:1 Jas 4:13-16). Instead, thankfully speak of the goodness of the Lord and the difference He has made, and continues to make, in your life (Heb 13:15; 1Pet 3:15).
3. Act biblically:
a. Correct deficiencies in your life that exist because of a lack of discipline or neglect (Jas 4:17; 1Cor 9:25-27).
b. Take advantage of opportunities to minister, especially in areas that keep you in a Christ-like servant attitude before others (Mt 20:25-28; Phil 2:3-8).
c. Prayerfully construct a scriptural plan whereby you can bless others through tangible expressions of biblical love and set up a schedule to fulfil your plan consistently. This plan should include fulfilling your daily responsibilities as a husband, wife, parent, student, roommate, employer, employee, etc (Mt 7:12; Rom 12:9-21; 13:8-10).
d. Memorize Scripture verses and study Scripture passages specifically related to overcoming a preoccupation with self (Ps 119:9, 11; 2Cor 10:5; Phil 4:8; 2Tim 2:15). Also memorize psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to help set your mind on the Lord and on being a blessing to others (Eph 5:19-20; Col 3:16).
e. Show God’s wisdom in your actions by being pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruit, unwavering and without hypocrisy (Jas 3:13-18).