The most pervasive Anti-Christ we face is Selfish Children! If we could find a way to manage selfish children then we would find that the abundance of sin in our lives would become negligible in contrast to today.
Note from Kip…
Observation – When we consider sin in our lives there appears to be but a single source for that sin, Selfish Children.
In a very real sense, all of humanity exists as the offspring of God. We think of God as being the Creator, but in a very intimate sense, God is our Mother as well. I’ve seen this concept proffered by several and I think in most cases they attempt to take the idea way too far to be a scriptural truth.
God’s ability to do anything isn’t restricted by gender. If we gender from our consideration of just what a mother is and does, what we would concede that all mothers give life to their offspring. The good mothers, sustain and nurture their children to adulthood. A mothers love transcends all boundaries to provide an opportunity for their children to flourish.
The fact that we were created out of God’s love. That love is more profound than any human can demonstrate, the doting care imparted to us, the lengths that He went to allow us to flourish in the very love that gave us birth, and the very giving of life to Adam and Eve, would indicate to us that God was, in fact, the first mother.
This would make every man woman and child his offspring.
We spent enough time considering this, but the point I want to take from this is that regardless of if we’ve been born of the Spirit or not we all are God’s children. What we will focus on for the remainder of this discussion is that we also are selfish children as well.
The first Selfish Children
The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Genesis 3:6 (CSB)
We understand that the original sin was not the consumption of the fruit, nor the touching of it. The actual sin was defiance to God by the act of taking the fruit and eating it when He had made it clear to them that they should not. I’m not going to challenge that thinking at all but I want us to look deeper into the motivation for the defiance.
“The woman saw that the tree was good” – Eve determined in her own estimation that the tree itself was good. It was a food supply. It was wonderful to look at. It was also, “desirable for obtaining wisdom.”
That word ‘desirable’ what does it entail?
I looked it up, it is STRONG’S NUMBER: h2530
ḥâmaḏ; a primitive root; to delight in — beauty, greatly beloved, covet, delectable thing, (x great) delight, desire, goodly, lust, (be) pleasant (thing), precious (thing).
I bolded the words covet, desire, lust, and precious as these all come back to one thing, selfishness.
I went one step further and revisited the definition of selfish.
(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure
The conclusion was that the original sin was defiance of God which was predicated on disregard for what he had commanded and their chief concern for their own personal profit and pleasure.
The Rest of Us Kids!
So, then we understand where our selfish nature comes from. We quite simply are born into it as the attributes of the parentage is visited upon the offspring unless there is something done to disrupt that inheritance.
I realized that as I survey sin in my life that there isn’t a single one that I can’t track back to selfishness. Virtually every case I found the focus of my desire was chiefly for my own personal profit or pleasure.
I would really like to challenge you to do this yourself, you know the sin you have harbored in your heart and if you take that sin and trace it to its source ultimately you will find that there is a self-motivation at its core.
(But) if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice.
James 3:14-16 (CSB)
Some pretty strong language wouldn’t you say?
Envy is linked to selfishness, because if we envy someone for something then we position ourselves ahead of that individual or group, considering that we are more deserving than they are.
You can go down the list one after another and they all come back to self. Let’s do a simple exercise to make the point. Let’s look at the Ten Commandments and how the self is present in each of these.
You shall have no other gods before Me. – There are a host of sins which involve us putting ourselves before God. If we try to mask this by adopting a deity from some religion and elevate that deity ahead of God, the motivation of self is still present. We are taking the position that the false god can supply something that is desirable to us better than the God of Creation. Therefore it is still self.
You shall not make idols. – Idols are crafted by a man so as to create a God from our own hands. The motivation is no different than is the violation of the first commandment, our view is that this gives us something that God cannot or will not do for us.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. – Here we begin to have to really consider what is going on in the sin a bit more. The taking of the Lord’s name and misuse by regarding it as being trite or trivial is not respecting God Himself, but if that is the case, then we are actually placing our position above Gods by disregarding His position of authority, self.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. – Now when we order the importance of events and activities ahead of obedience to worship and assemble together, those things take form as idols. It is more important to ‘us’ (aka self) to be involved in those activities than to worship him on the Lord’s day because we get some form of gratification from it, self.
Honor your father and your mother. – If we are not honoring our parents then we are putting ourselves before them in our view and inflating our self-importance, self.
You shall not murder. – For whatever reason, your life is more important than the life of another, self.
You shall not commit adultery. – This is the gratification of ‘self’ in the sexual experience. You may want to lie to your’self’, saying that you’re doing it for the other person and that is unselfish, however, you would be failing to recognize in doing so you’d be creating another idol to be put before God for your own gratification.
You shall not steal. – It is more important to me that I possess what the other has, self.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. – To improve our position or our regard ahead another is self-motivated. We seek to obtain an improvement in our position as a result of tearing down someone else, self.
You shall not covet. – The heart of covetousness is the desire to gratify self.
This isn’t limited to the 10 Commandments.
You may be able to find one or two that don’t loop back to self but for all that I have observed they all come back to it.
How appropriate the first few words of one of the most known passages of God’s word.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23 (CSB)
What do we do about it?
The attempt to ‘self’-justify ourselves by our actions, is again sin that says, ‘I can purify myself better than Jesus can’. And we simply cannot. It is impossible.
No, our justification is in the hands of Jesus and only Him. It is by His sacrifice for us that we can avail ourselves of His Grace through our faith.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 (CSB)
But we should acknowledge that we are selfish children by confessing this very thing to Him and being aware of the single greatest challenge for us in our walk with Him is to cast off selfishness.
Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Christ’s Humility and Exaltation Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited.
Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.
For this reason God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — in heaven and on earth and under the earth — and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:4-11 (CSB)
Selfish Children, all of us!