Selfishness in the Eyes of Post-90s Christians in the Workplace and How They Defeat It

By Yetta Yao, January 24, 2017 09:01 AM


A sister born after 1990 states, "In my eyes selfness is normal. I don't think that (some of my ways are) selfish. However,  people say I'm selfish while I'm unaware of that. I hope they can give examples, otherwise, I won't know." On the other hand, she realizes that God hates selfness from the Bible study. 

It's a problem for many people in their daily life and no one is immune to it. Christianity regards pride, greed and selfness as sins, in which there are many teachings about "love", "sacrifice" and "redemption" that help us overcome selfness.

But how to practice them in the real life?

Christian Times interviews five Chinese Christians of the 90s generation in the workplace to talk about selfishness from their perspectives, its harm and the way to defeat it.

Sister Wang: Jesus is my Lord and overcoming selfishness is the lesson of my lifetime

The overseas student who studies in South Korea says that selfishness represents in disrespect to God's word while believing that his own thought and deeds are correct. Basically, selfishness is a wrong self-esteem that puts yourself first without putting God as the center.

When she was a senior in a university, she prayed that God could help her enroll in postgraduate education, who wanted to succeed through pursuing a master's degree and doctorate. For her, God was the helper of her life rather than the master. Later she was disappointed with God for she failed the entrance exam. After over a year, she realized that there was only her dream in her selfish plan without God's plan.

The greatest effect of selfishness on her results in producing self-esteem that leads to hurting.

Then how to overcome selfness? She replies, by announcing every day that Jesus is the Lord, nothing is mine and my everything belongs to the Lord. It's not easy to do it though we know the how and it takes a lifetime to learn this lesson, the sister adds.

Programmer Chuanchuan: Love your neighbor as yourself

Selfishness is self-centered, concerning about your situation and leaving no room for others, declares Chuanchuan, a programmer.

Its antonym is love. The Bible never asks us to love other people more than ourselves but orders us to love our neighbor as ourselves. For example, it is easy to excuse our own fault while seems hard to forgive others when they make mistakes. Justice and love are needed to get rid of selfishness.

A man with justice will not take matters into account from his own eyes but from an objective point of view, considering the rights or wrongs of an issue rather than from his evil desires.This requires the fear of God. He who fears God is able to lay down his desires and completely obey the truth.

Nonetheless, it's not enough to do this since we're all sinners. Sinners make mistakes. If another violates the truth, should we judge him with justice? The Scriptures tells us to forgive others' trespasses with love.

Brother Shen: We need the guidance of God to know "rationalized" selfish behaviors

An expression of selfishness is reflected on not considering others when doing things or making decisions. Greed, honor, money and power generate selfishness because these outward stuffs entice selfishness in our human nature, which makes people forget what they should do and become too extreme about pursuing external things.

Human selfishness shows in various ways, even permeating our love relationship and family affection to the extent that people don't even know it. This stems from our sinful nature.

From the perspective of faith, it indicates that people don't know enough about their sins and sinful nature. People may realize that it's wrong to be selfish, but this sort of sin represents in different forms and in "rationalized" ways. We hardly know these "rationalized" selfish behaviors without the guidance from God.

Sister Duan: Take care of your own responsibility first and be a normal person who imitates Christ

Sister Duan, a young programmer, claims that being selfish means not sharing food with others and doing things nice for yourselves and never helping others. In addition, what you say and do are self-centered without putting yourself in other's shoes.

It harms others and personal relationships and people become narrow-minded and confine themselves, far away from achieving something big. It also affects the next generation and even the whole society, hindering the development of God's kingdom.

It's normal to be self-centered while Jesus teaches us self-deny and -empty. That can't be done all at once. Instead, we can be normal persons who know ourselves and practice God's word and we will become more like Christ.

Sister Su: Selfishness produces negative emotions and we shall meditate on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus 

Sister Su, a visual designer, says that selfish people live an ego-centered life, ignorant of offending others and holding reasons for their behaviors. In her eyes, those kinds of people rarely thank others and understand others' feelings.

Selfishness results in complaints, bitterness and even resent that harm our body, mind, spirit and affect people around us. It is sin that drives others away.

Christians should often express gratitude and think of others. We will have merciful hearts when moving our eyes to people who have worse conditions than us, such as orphans and lonely elderly people. What's more, repent your sins before God and meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus.

Translated By: Karen Luo

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