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Healthy Relationships Depend on Selflessness

Description

Selfishness destroys relationships, but selflessness makes them grow.

“The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8 (The Message)

Selfishness destroys relationships. It is the number one cause of conflict, arguments, divorce, and even war.

James 4:1 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” (NIV). Every trouble starts because of self-centeredness.

It’s very easy for selfishness to enter relationships. When you start a relationship, you work really hard at being unselfish. But as time goes on, selfishness begins to creep in. People tend to put more energy into starting and building relationships than they do in maintaining them.

If selfishness destroys relationships, then it is selflessness that makes them grow. What does selflessness mean? It means less of “me” and more of “you.” It means thinking of others more than you think of yourself and putting other people’s needs before your own. As Philippians 2:4 says, “Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others (CSB).

Selflessness brings out the best in people. It builds trust in relationships. In fact, if you start acting selfless in a relationship, the other person changes too; when you’re selfless, you’re not the same person anymore so they have to relate to you in a different way.

I’ve seen it many times. Some of the most unlovable people that no one wants to be around are transformed when someone is kind and selfless toward them. When someone is given what they need, not what they deserve, they change in beautiful ways.

The Bible says in Galatians 6:7-8, “The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life” (The Message).

This is the biblical principle of sowing and reaping. What you sow, you’re going to reap. When you sow selflessness, you reap God’s blessing. This is how he’s wired the universe: the more unselfish you are, the more he blesses you. He wants you to become like him, and he is unselfish. Everything you have is a gift from God, a result of his unselfishness toward you. And, ultimately, God rewards selflessness with eternal life.

While you’re here on this Earth, though, you’ll be most fulfilled when you give yourself away. Jesus said, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35 TLB).

Talk It Over

What is one of the hardest things for you to give to someone else? (Maybe it’s your time, your money, or your emotional resources.)

How can you practice giving that thing away this week?

In what ways have you seen God bless you when you are unselfish?

Have you trusted Jesus with your life?

The Bible says you can only get to heaven by trusting in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. You cannot earn your way into heaven: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).

If you’re ready to confess your sins and to trust Jesus with your life, start with this prayer:

“Dear God, you have promised that if I believe in Jesus, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.

“I confess my sin, and I submit to Jesus as my Savior and Lord. Jesus, I want to follow you and serve you. I humbly commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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