Don’t Be Self-Centered

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Chinkee Tan
Chinkee Tan

Do you know someone who is…

Always defensive…

Greedy…

Refuses to give way and sacrifice…

Wants to always be the favored one…

Wants to always have everything…

Never thinks of others…

There is no one else worthy or important but himself…

Whether we admit it or not, self-centeredness has become a default mode. It is easier to become self-absorbed than selfless. Selflessness requires much effort. Self-centeredness comes out naturally.

Just look at kids, for instance. Their natural responses are “mine” and “me”. So, we do not have to have to teach them to be greedy, but instead to share and be generous to others. Now if we don’t do this, they will grow up to be self-absorbed adults.

What are the signs that a person is self-centered?

When at a gathering, they fill up their plate to the brim even though they know that there are others who are sharing with the food.

When you refuse to wait for your turn, and don’t want to stand in line. You always want to be served right away.

When sharing is not part of your values. If ever you do give, it is with much expectation to get something in return or you should be properly acknowledged.

When it has become a habit to ask, even if you are not in dire need.

When you don’t want to consider the welfare and feelings of other people over your own.

When you don’t want to be inconvenienced, to adjust or to sacrifice for the sake of others.

I know that a lot of us are guilty of these sometimes. We are not usually aware that we are being self-centered in certain situations. Well, not until someone will notice it and let you know. We have this idea that it is our right, but in reality we are being very selfish.

Why are there people like these? I can think of three reasons:

UPBRINGING

Parents and family play an important role in the development of one’s character and values. It all starts at home, where the foundation for life is laid. While it is true that as we grow older we can eventually choose how to respond to people but we cannot deny the importance of one’s roots – the source of our choices. If we grew up in a home that doesn’t value sharing and generosity, then we will most likely bring this selfish habit until we grow old.

HEART ISSUE

Selfishness may also be a response to insecurity, resentment, jealousy, anxiousness, bitterness, envy or other negative feelings. Selfishness becomes a cover up to hide what is truly in the heart. We cannot expect to have a selfless attitude if we have these things in our hearts.

But if we rid our hearts of these negative things, then there will be no trace of self-centeredness in our actions.

CHOICE

At the end of the day, whoever surrounds us, whatever we go through, even if we are deprived of many things or even if we have not been taught how to be selfless, the choice is still ours. We control our actions by what we feel in our heart and think in our mind. If we are selfish, that is because we chose to be so. The good news is, we also have a choice to make things right and be selfless.

It is not easy to be selfless, but whenever we feel like struggling to be selfless, let’s look at the life of Christ. He is the perfect example of being selfless. He gave all for us because of His great love for us. He even died on the cross for us. We do not have any right to be greedy and selfish because God himself did not withhold anything from us. He is not self-centered.

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY

Are you struggling to be selfless?

What are the reasons for your being selfish?

Have you checked the condition of your heart?

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