There is an enemy that has destroyed an inestimable number of relationships since the beginning of time. He has devastated families, marriages, and friendships, and in many cases, has ruined people's lives forever. I venture to say that even if he hasn't yet destroyed you, he has probably caused you some serious harm at one time or another. What makes him even more dangerous is that he is always lurking nearby and often invisible. No, I'm not talking about Satan, although he almost definitely is a constant sidekick. The enemy I am referring to is selfishness. Many may disagree, but I suspect we were all born with a generous hint of it. In the 5th Chapter of Galatians, we see that selfishness, a fruit of the flesh, (old nature) can also be called by other names, such as enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissentions, and envy. It may appear as simple
childishness. After all, how often do we see children quarrel and fuss when they don't get their way? I've lost count of the many times I've heard the phrase, "I'm not going to take it anymore" in counseling sessions. Those who have read and studied Paul's epistles to the Corinthians know that this same type of mindset was causing havoc in that church. The apostle had to scold them for it. Here is part of what he wrote: Now therefore there is utterly a fault among among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? (I Cor 6:7) These folks back then weren't any different. They too were "not going to take it." To fall into this enemy's trap is to lose touch with reality. Where do folks get the idea that in life we will always win and get all our wishes? When I was in high school I always took heart by the phrase, "losing builds character." Some may disagree, but I've known many whose losses crushed them. Dear reader, keep a close eye on this destructive enemy's activity. If you find yourself always wanting your way, always wanting to win, always needing to be first in choosing, being seen or heard, selfishness has crept into your life. If you don't shake him off, he may cause you a lot of heartache and grief. How can you get rid of him? Here are a few ways:  don't take yourself too seriously. (See Romans 12:3)  If you feel unappreciated, or that others have wronged you, or have taken advantage of you, bring your complaint to God. I believe we can also apply the advice of Proverbs 3:6 to this matter. It reads: In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. This means that you should call on Him for help and direction in all the issues of your life. Lastly, always keep in mind that, like Jesus, we have been called of God to serve others before we serve ourselves. Philippians 2:7 tells us that He made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant. Humanly speaking, this is almost impossible to fathom, The Son of God, The King of Kings, The Lord of Glory, humbling himself to serve mankind. Believe me, this method really works. When we do as Christ, we learn that it really is more blessed to give than to take. It is no wonder then, that in His prayer to the Father for His disciples, Jesus said: And now I come to thee; and these things I now speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. (John 17:13) Doing for God is the same as doing for our spouse, parents, children, or friends, and it is a true joy!