CHURCH BUSINESS: How to disinfect yourself of selfish disposition
By Oludare Mayowa
The synonyms for this simple word Selfishness include; self-centeredness, self-interest, egocentricity, self-seeking and self-conceited
The antonyms for the word are altruism, self-sacrifice, selflessness, philanthropy, humanity
The etymology of the word selfishness: The word selfish is an adjective (qualifier) derived from two words; self + ish and was said to have been coined by the Presbyterians in the 17 Century.
The word selfish is defined by Memidex, a free online dictionary as: concerned chiefly or only with oneself and one’s advantage to the exclusion of others while Wiktionary, also a free online dictionary defined it as holding one’s own self-interest as the standard for decision making or Having regard for oneself above others’ well-being.
Selfishness is a descriptive word to describe human motives that are chiefly concerned with one’s own well-being and no one else’s.
Naturally, a self-centered person is excessively concerned with himself and his own needs.
Some of the ways you can identify the traits of selfishness in a person include:
• They usually disguised their weak side because they usually behave as though they are perfect at all times and make the other person look imperfect.
• They usually have a sense of entitlement and always want everything for themselves to the exclusion of others. They want others to do things for them, yet they are incapable of doing anything for others or rather don’t ever see a need to reciprocate good deeds done to them.
• Selfish people also have a hard time accepting being wrong. They would rather push the blame on others rather than accepting their own contributions to whatever wrong that has been noticed or identified.
Examples of selfish people abound in the Scripture, how some personalities allowed self-interest to override whatever interest of the others. Jacob for instance lured his brother Esau to let go of his birthright in place of a morsel of a meal. He took advantage of the weakness of his brother to rob him of his inheritance.
Also, Prophet Elisha servant, Gehazi was overwhelmed by greed and selfish interest to betray his master by going behind him to collect gifts from the Syrian Army general, Naaman against his master’s wish.
Judas is another personality in the Bible that allowed selfish interest to override the general interest of others. He betrayed Jesus his master to receive 30 Shekel, which he was eventually unable to spend because of guilty conscience.
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Although all of these acts could also be described as being influence by greed, essentially they were largely driven by self-centeredness and the need to please self above all other interests.
However, in spite of the prevalent of the act of selfishness in the Biblical stories, some Bible scholars noted that usage of the word cannot be found in the scripture.
In a relationship, self-centeredness can really affect the dynamic between partners; it can cause resentment and animosity, especially if one partner does not care about the feelings of the other and always pursuing his/her self interest first above the general good of the relationship.
A selfish person is the one who puts his own needs first. He’s primarily concerned with himself and seeks out only those activities that fulfill his own desires and wants.
When you make life difficult for others to meet your own ends, then that kind of action and personality is the person that many people would like to avoid.
A selfish person is different from a self-loving person and can be defined by someone who has two main characteristics.
Usually, selfish people are manipulative, always plotting one scheme or the other, they are uncaring about the feelings of the others, and they are usually self-conceited by putting themselves first and by putting the other person down.
A selfish person will have high expectations of what they want from others, more of a sense of entitlement but have no feeling of what they should either do in return or responsibility toward others.
They are like a leach that only wants to take without any sense of wanting to give back in return. They are like the blood-sucking demon that will neither recognize nor take into consideration the implications of their attitude on their victims.
While every human has some traits of selfishness in them because of the instinct for self-preservation, it is important that people should outgrow over time some sense of selfishness as they are exposed and grow in knowledge through life and relationships with others in the best interest of humanity.
Steps to stop being selfish:
1. Practice putting yourself last. …
2. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. …
3. Remember that you’re not more important than anyone else. …
4. Don’t let your past dictate your future. …
5. Ask yourself about what you want versus what you need
6. Enjoy giving the spotlight to others. …
7. Take in the criticism. …
8. Make a gratitude list.
Being in a relationship should mean choosing to be on your partner’s team. And sometimes, that means putting their needs before your own. When you’re committed to someone, you consider them when making both big and small decisions.
In a relationship, you work together and make room in your life for each other.
A selfish leader cannot go far in both ministry and life generally because people within his/her circle of influence will always detect such traits and be repel from such personality at the end of the day.
Leaders should also teach their followers not to be selfish as a self-centered life add no value to others but rather take away from them.
Christ remains our living example; he came to the world and sacrifice his life for the benefits of all without holding back and has left us with the same example to give without looking back and wanting anything in return