No wise person would want friends who always are selfish. Do take note that a selfish person can cause harm to anyone especially friends and family, in his or her vain pursuits for self-gratification. This harm can be financial losses, loss of reputation, and even loss of life to name a few. Would you still want to be friends with such friends who are selfish?
If you don’t want a selfish friend, it’s only fair to ask of you to never ever be selfish yourself. If you are not selfish it doesn’t mean that you to be self-harming nor self-deceiving. In fact, you’re better poised to help your friends and family. You can progress in life by being a blessing to others and yes it’s totally possible. So, if you choose to never be selfish and simply follow the Word of God you will be found truly worthy in this life and in the afterlife.
Verses for reflection:
- Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)
- Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
- Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Corinthians 10:24)
- For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. (James 3:16)
- Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (Proverbs 11:25)
- Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. (Romans 15:2)
- A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:2)
- The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)
- Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)
- Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! (Psalm 119:36)
- But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)
- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
- And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)
Recently I happened to meet a preacher who went a long rant about people who came to his church, got their miracles and then stopped coming to his preaching services. Here’s one such real life example he keeps facing; people who are unemployed came to him for prayers. Then those people get jobs by getting trough the job interviews. These people didn’t earlier get jobs for months. They then come to testify in church, in front of the entire congregation as to how after being prayed over by the preacher, they received their blessings from God and have so got a great paying job. Fast forward this to like three months later and the preacher then observed that many of these who received their jobs miraculously are nowhere to be seen at the church services. In fact now the very jobs they got blessed with are cited as reasons for not attending church, pathetic! This preacher was visibly upset for a moment when he mentioned this challenge he faced but yet after that kept praying for others who are in need of jobs etc.
Then there’s a thing that I too faced. I’d pray for people and they’d get married and but then reduce their church attendance, while there are many other couples who do attend church even after marriage. They then will avoid any religious seminars and guess what; being married is cited as the reason for that. Then few years later when the child is born and is sick, they are in ‘need’ of me for prayers. Only out of concern for the child do I pray for his or her well-being and they recover. After that if I try to contact the parents, they again go non responsive. Utterly ungrateful and opportunistic people!
Due to this, I later on modified my strategy towards such people. Basically, first identify such people and pray for discernment. Then don’t help unless explicitly asked for in a non ambiguous manner. And only then help as usual but expect them to not be grateful later on. So don’t invest too much into them. Instead go on to help the next person God sends in your life.
So what’s my point?
My point is don’t be selfish after getting your blessings. Firstly, honour the Lord God and don’t miss out on praying to him and loving him. Secondly, have regard towards those who prayed for you in your suffering. Thirdly, remember that miracles are not for your selfish agendas but for the glory of God. Finally, don’t make your blessings as an excuse to neglect coming to church nor an as excuse to reduce praying and avoid reading the Bible.
Now to people who still think all they need is a blessing and then disappear from doing their responsibility towards God, well I have bad news for you. You can try to give all the reasons you want but the Lord God knows the deceitful and the good right from the heart. The maker of all hearts knows really well how to judge them and obviously there is a Final judgement that will soon happen. And just to let you know, not every preacher will allow you to take them for granted. Even myself made a strategy as mentioned above. But let share just one strategy which another set of preachers use; don’t grant the miracle unless the person shows interest in continuing in the Word God. Rude as this strategy sounds to the selfish of heart, the good of heart don’t mind this at all.
Let me make it real to you. At a preaching convention, there was a woman in need of a miracle for her baby. Now this preaching was residential over a span of five days. This woman was desperate and was only looking for the preacher to lay hands on the baby so that her child recovers and then she’d immediately leave the convention half way. Signs were already showing up. She was skipping prayers and mentioning the baby as the reason. Arriving late in the preaching hall and citing the baby as the reason. Keeping on saying that she has things at home to attend to and what not. At the time of healing prayers the preacher felt the power of God at work. He prayed and a lot of people received their healing. Now that woman came to him for praying for her baby. But he realized in his mind that if he grants her the healing she will immediately leave the place. So he told her to wait till the final day of the convention. She was reluctant but had no choice.
Before any of you think what that preacher did wrong, please continue to observe what happened next. The preacher kept preaching the Word of God in its fullness and emphasized on believing in the Gospel, repentance from sins, faith for life etc. These are very vital topics in the life of a believer in Christ. Now on the fifth day the woman went back to the preacher and asked him to pray over her baby and this time he asked the Lord God to heal the baby of so and so disease. The moment the woman realized her child is healed she immediately made an excuse in the name of the baby and left the convention. The preacher was smart enough to call her only at the last minutes of the convention. He said he didn’t lack mercy towards the baby but knew in advance that the woman was more interested in the miracle than hearing the Word of God if the baby was healed first. Because he prayed that the baby’s health won’t worsen in those five days but only that the healing would occur last day.
Now, I myself don’t use his method about praying for people but I do get his point loud and clear; some people once they receive their miracle may make excuses to avoid hearing the Gospel, so do whatever you can to stop that.
My advice to those preaching and healing others in the name of Jesus Christ, would be that don’t let people treat you like an MVM. Some people incorrectly feel that they are entitled to all the time and efforts of those who pray for others and they don’t feel grateful towards them. Don’t be an MVM but a true minister of the Word of God. Be a pleaser of God instead of the people.
You might ask what is a “MVM”. It’s called as a Miracle Vending Machine. So again for those preaching healing in Jesus’ name, please remember that miracles are secondary and the glory to God comes first. Ensure that you explain the love and mercy of God as mentioned in Gospel and then pray for healing and miracles for those who come to you. And tell those people who might think the job they will get is due to their own ability then why are they asking you to pray for them? You can also tell them if they want a good spouse in marriage then why are they expecting you to fast for them but themselves don’t want to fast? Obviously, you don’t need to blunt too much but at the same time don’t be anyone’s door mat either especially when you know the gift of healing and miracles are not yours to claim fame for but are of God’s alone who is working through you.
Christ be with you!