“Selfcenteredness” is to be occupied only or primarily with one’s own affairs; having such regard for one’s own interests and advantages that the happiness and welfare of others become of less concern than is considered right or just; too much concern with one’s own welfare.
Why are people self-centered?
Rom. 5:19 What happened as a result of Adam’s sin?
[An antanaclasis is a figure of speech where the same word or phrase is repeated but each with different meanings. The first “the many” – means every person conceived from a human father, while the second time the phrase “the many” is used, it refers to God’s chosen, elect, predestined ones.].
[“made” sinners – means “constituted or put in the category of” sinners].
Psa. 51:5 In what was the Psalmist (and all mankind, for that matter) born?
[“sin” – a sinner with a sin nature that can only sin].
Rom. 8:6-8 What can’t those who are in the flesh (controlled by their sinful nature) do?
Jer. 17:9 How is the heart (the inner being or nature) described?
Gal. 5:19-21 What are the deeds of our flesh (sin nature)?
Mk. 7:21-23; Matt. 15:19 What proceeds from (comes out of) the heart (our inner being/sin nature)?
Psa. 58:3 From what point is a person wicked?
In what are some things that being self-centered results?
Num. 32:5-7, 14 [They only thought of their own safety and possessions.].
Prov. 11:25-26; 28:27 [for being stingy].
Hag. 1:4, 8-10 [They let God’s house decay while they had paneled homes.].
Rom. 14:15, 21
[by emboldening them to violate their conscience through doing what they think to be wrong].
[It can result in physically, financially, materially, emotionally, socially, mentally, and spiritually hurting yourself and others.].
How do you overcome being self-centered?
2 Cor. 5:17 What happens when we’re in Christ (become a Christian)?
[“old things” – a life of slavery to self and sin, Rom. 6:6-14.].
[“new things” – new attitudes, desires, motives, actions, speech, 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Eph. 4:23 – 5:2].
1 Cor. 2:12; 6:19-20 What have we received?
How should we view our bodies?
And what are we to do with our bodies?
Eph. 5:18 What are we commanded to be continually?
[“filled” – is in the present tense, meaning “continually controlled”].
Gal. 5:22 What is the first of the fruit (or products) of the Holy Spirit?
1 Cor. 13:5 What doesn’t love (which were commanded to have – 1 Pet. 1:22; Rom. 12:10) do?
[“seek its own” – means “is not self-centered].
[If we are filled with God’s Spirit (controlled by Him) and, therefore, have His love (one of His fruit) available to us to exercise/use or express/apply, and since love doesn’t seek its own, then we won’t be self-centered.].
Phil. 2:12 What does this tell us to do?
[“work out” – not work “for”, but work “out”, that is, put your salvation into practice; live it out. Therefore, as an act of your will, choose not to be self-centered.].
What are some ways we can and should be selfless?
[“bearing the weaknesses” – tolerating the biblical ignorance/uninformedness by refraining from doing anything that motivates or causes another Christian to stumble/sin. For example, drinking alcohol, gambling, looking at unedifying magazines/movies, etc.].
[By doing or saying those things which build up others spiritually: 1) pointing out strengths, e.g., what they are good at, positive character traits, qualities of godliness, positive habits; 2) expressing thanks and appreciation for the nice things people do, e.g., the time they spend: making an extra good dinner or snack, cleaning the house more than required, taking people to and/or from work or errands, studying/researching well so as to teach both accurately and interestingly, listening, planning, organizing, supervising; the energy they exert to do things excellently: fixing things, shopping for bargains, helping out with car maintenance; the money they spend: helping with people’s needs, treating people with something special, assisting to build better facilities and/or Christian resources; 3) expressing confidence, respect, loyalty, or commitment; 4) doing acts of kindness, e.g., helping out with errands and/or projects, volunteering to assist, etc.; 5) being cooperative on a team project that someone else is in charge of.].
1 Cor. 10:24
[By helping them succeed in their ministry, their relationship to God, or their personal well-being].
1 Cor. 10:31
[By giving a benefit to the other person; by going out of your way to do what you know the person needs, desires, likes that will benefit their faith, ministry, or personal well-being].
[By being aware of others’ needs and what would be helpful for them to best grow spiritually and their overall well-being].
[By knowing each other well enough to pick up on it when another is burdened and the person feels the freedom to share it].
1 Jn. 3:17
1 Cor. 13:5
Who are examples of selflessness, and what is said about them that shows this?
[He was the only one Paul knew of in that no one else would be genuinely concerned for these Philippians’ welfare. Everyone else sought after their own interests rather than those of Jesus’.].
1 Cor. 10:33; 9:19-23; Acts 20:33-35
[He pleased all people in all things (allowable, indifferent, amoral), not seeking his own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved (by not giving offence in his eating, drinking, etc., Acts 20:31-32).].
Rom. 15:3; 2 Cor. 8:9; Mk. 10:45; Jn. 13:13-14
[Though He was rich, yet for our sake, He became poor, that we, through His poverty might become rich].
[All who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet to be distributed as any had need.].
Rom. 16:3-4; Jn. 15:13
[They risked their lives for Paul, as an expression of love.].
Why should we be selfless?
Rom. 15:2; 1 Cor. 10:23-24, 31-32; Phil. 2:3-4
2 Cor. 5:15
1 Cor. 13:5
As a result of this study, do you consider yourself self-centered or selfless?
In what ways specifically?
What specific changes do you plan to make as a result of this study, and why?