It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,… I Corinthians 13:5
Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.~Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill was a success writer and is thought of as one of the first ones to publish a success book. He spent several years studying successful millionaire’s after a suggestion by Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie wanted to know if there was a success formula that all millionaire’s shared. Hill became a success himself when he sold his book. One of the things he learned was great sacrifice brings great achievement, but selfishness is not a part of the success formula. The life-giver is not self-seeking or selfish. They always are a part of helping others with their own success, thereby creating their own success. Being a life-giver is a success story.
Let’s be clear on what selfishness really is. I had someone tell me that when I take time away from my family to exercise and make it a priority that I am being selfish. That I am not thinking of them, but only myself. The truth of the matter is I am thinking of myself, but I am also taking care of my body temple that God’s Holy Spirit is in, and my first responsibility is to Him. Taking care of my body temple gives me a longer life and strength to be there for my family when they need me the most. Making good decisions when it comes to you is really a selfless act and very much a life-giving activity. When you are life-giving to you, you can be life-giving to others as well, by that act alone. If you allow your body to breakdown, you are doing God a disservice as well as your family. Sacrificing time to take care of you is very selfless.
The life-giving selfless attitude means you have an agenda and that is to help others and devise ways to help others. The selfish person devises ways to make them look more important and to raise their status in life. The life-giver gains status by simply being humble and allowing God to use them and their abilities. The selfless agenda is the godly agenda and makes for a stress free life. The selfish agenda leads to a shorter life and tortured existence. The problem here is we were all born selfish and wanting things for ourselves.
There are three things to remember to keep you on the selfless path. The first is to keep you on God’s path. Always read God’s word and stay in fellowship with God. When we meditate on His word, pray about what is troubling us and spend time in worship every day with God, our tendencies are more to the selfless path. Always stay in worship every day, worship when in church, worship while you are driving, worship when you work. Keep worshiping.
Instead of focusing on your needs, focus on other’s needs. When someone needs help, no matter how easy or difficult, be there to lend a hand. If you take a small amount of inconvenience, you can always make someone’s day. Bag the groceries when that checker doesn’t have a bagger. If someone drops something, help him or her pick it up. Open the door for that couple that may get in line before you get in line when you are at that busy restaurant on a Friday night. Give that server, who may have messed up your order a good tip, they may have had a bad day. Let me be very transparent here, all of the above things I have not done myself. I sat here and thought of some ideas where I fail to be selfless and the above list came very easy to me.
The last way to stay on the selfless path is to keep examining your life. This for some people can be a painful activity. I think most of us don’t want to face the pain that keeps us from moving forward on God’s path. As God was transforming my outside, He began to transform my inside and so a very important thing that happened to me long ago that caused great pain came up. When that happened I was faced with a choice, either continue to allow that pain to destroy me, or face it and allow God’s healing power to enter my life. I think the great sacrifice, other than time, money and other things is letting go of that pain It may mean to forgive someone that has done something dreadful in your life. The life-giver let’s go of their pain and they forgive and move on. Forgiveness never means saying the deep pain someone caused you was a good thing and that it was okay. Forgiveness means the deep pain that someone caused you is not going to continue to hurt you because you are letting go of it and saying I’m stronger because of it and I can help someone else with that same pain. I think the sacrifice that Hill meant was sacrificing your selfishness to help yourself be the best person possible. We can do that through healthy living by worshiping, healthy relationships with people we help, and examining our lives to turn pain around and use it as our ministry and become healthy in our soul.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.