Psalm 139:23,24 Search me, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 21:2,3 A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Isaiah 1:11-17 (I don’t want sacrifices, I want your heart)
Jeremiah 17:9,10 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Jeremiah 29:13 you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
Matthew 15:18-20 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person…
Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written; ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 16:15 He said to them, “you are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
People tend to be selfish and self-centered, wanting their desires filled immediately. It starts as infants when we are crying, impatient for nourishment or removal of soiled diapers. I didn’t initially classify infants as selfish; all their needs must be met by a human for food to be brought and given, for dirty diapers to be changed, to be cleansed and comforted. Initially, I did not feel babies were selfish, only helpless. But as children age, it is easier to spot more of the selfish tendencies. Toddler impatience, screeching, fighting over toys, and tantrums to express their displeasure with whatever they are being told to do, or come and get ready for, and/or directed to doing something they choose not to do.
It is part of the developmental age for children to be learning to express and gain some independence as toddlers. In our country, children are allowed more fully to express their displeasures—it is tolerated, and many parents do not interfere. But in other countries, although all children have this selfish need to express themselves, this wild, loud, and very selfish expression is NOT allowed to continue as it is in this country. A child misbehaving is quietly and firmly separated away, and the adult explains this is not acceptable and the behavior must cease. I am not sure if a spanking is promised later, but it is the interruption, without causing any further upset within a crowd, and the behavior, or at least the screeching and tantrum like behavior stops. Pouting may continue, but the visible and loud misbehavior is contained.
As we age, our selfish ways develop. We are the most important persons in our own lives. We are entitled to have what we want. At times, we may have to wait for a while to obtain something—for instance, parents deeming no extra sports allowed unless grades are maintained, not dating until a certain age, or parents saying one needs to save some money to purchase an item later—whether it be too expensive for a parent to grant, or part of a need to teach the child a lessons, and recognize value in some of the things they want. There may be conditional things one has to do to ensure one gets what they desire. But the selfish desires are part of human condition at birth.
Selfishness sticks with us throughout life. We may be able to control it in many areas of life with the help of the Holy Spirit, but that initial tendency is there. Possibly, we don’t buy a new outfit although ‘love the color, love that neckline…’ but then follow the gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit not to purchase. Maybe you will never wear an outfit that lovely and fancy—nowhere you go that requires, maybe you can’t afford it, maybe it is not as important to have that than to mind your monthly budget. The desire may still remain, but with the Holy Spirit’s urging, you have turned from it. That is an example of overcoming a selfish urge.
However, sneaky Satan is waiting for the next time and then the next to entice you, to urge you to get it, and to remind you that you ‘DESERVE this.’ (Just a reminder that he LIES—every word he utters, and he also lies in wait to nudge you to fall into his plans for your selfish fall).
It is a great idea for US to be aware of how our hearts are behaving also. We should have a plan to protect our hearts desires and to keep them in check, we should keep in mind monthly budget, and certainly the ‘need vs want,’ and how the fulfilling of a selfish desire now may affect our immediate, then distant future. Payments over time? What’s the interest on that very pretty, new shiny car? Was your old car running fine, maintenance current, but this was just soooooo pretty? And don’t you think I look good behind the wheel?
I need the Holy Spirit reminding me of budgets, reminding me of the clothes destined to be cleaned out of bureaus and closets. I have gadgets that I don’t use….but I might…someday.
And of course, it is not just purchases we make to be selfish. Maybe food is your weakness, and you go back frequently and overindulge there, maybe you are a workaholic and time spent separate from your family is your weakness. Whatever, the list is endless, and only you and your heart 9and maybe your family) and certainly God, know what is in your heart. I have only listed a few of the many verses God has spoken regarding our selfish hearts and allowing them to allow us to sin, “to encourage us to sin” when we listen to Satan and grab onto the words he lies into our ears, about deserving…..
Since I am a work in progress and still have far to go, I have to remind myself to listen to the Holy Spirit and not to the devil….but it’s sometimes the devil’s words I like since they are encouraging me to get what I want….but, I have been purposely seeking His guidance and tempering my selfish desires—sometimes walking away, reminding myself of budget, unable to justify where or when I would TRULY wear an outfit…and to just have it hand in a closet, then be donated….DUMB, Disobedient, and Demon-lead. …. Big sigh out, but YES! I walked away!
Thank You for leading me away when my selfish desires are urging my heart to be a selfish brat. You have given me the Holy Spirit to always help me and ‘mybellaviews.’