Healthy Relationships Need Less of 'Me' and More of 'You'
“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 our self-centeredness.
It’s very easy for selfishness to creep into relationships. When you start a relationship, you work really hard at being unselfish. But as time goes on, selfishness begins to creep in. We tend to put more energy into starting and building relationships than we 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 the other person’s needs before your own (Philippians 2:4).
Selflessness brings out the best in others. It builds trust in relationships. In fact, if you start acting selfless in a relationship, it forces the other person to change, because you’re not the same person anymore, and they have to relate to you in different way. I’ve actually seen it many times—some of the most unlovable people that nobody wants to be around are transformed when someone is kind and selfless toward them, when they’re given what they need, not what they deserve.
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. God rewards selflessness with eternal life. He has wired the universe so that the more unselfish you are, the more he blesses you. Why? Because he wants you to become like him, and God is unselfish. Everything you have in life is a gift from God, because he was unselfish with you.
You are most fulfilled in this life 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?
How can you practice giving that thing away this week?
In what ways do you think God blesses you when you are unselfish?
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This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.