“concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own.”
For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. Matthew 25:42
I just read a very interesting blog from one of my followers that touched on a character trait that has rapidly disappeared from mainstream society: Selflessness, placing the needs of others above your own.
We are born with and comprised of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of wellness. Who is responsible for the growth and development of these components? More importantly, who is responsible for the development of our character?
If you are familiar with a toddler interacting with their peers, it is a natural instinct for them to selfishly protect their toys. I have seen many children use the “grab and snatch” method while loudly saying “Mine.” If the child’s character is not molded at a very young age and continually refined, then society reflects the result: the maturity of selfish children into selfish adults.
Yes, we live in a society of individuals who possess the “grab and snatch” character. We are unable to place blame on the parents or caregivers for character deficits. Peer pressure affects every age and stage in a person’s life, and when we succumb, the result is the compromise of learned values.
Yesterday, I made two separate purchases involving two separate cashiers at one of our major thrift stores for craft supplies. The first cashier asked me if I would round up my change to the next dollar to help supply Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. Interestingly, the second cashier did not ask any of her customers, including me, to round up to help others. Should I have taken the next step and reported her to management? Obviously, she does not honor the mission or vision of the non-profit organization. But, the real problem cannot and will not be rectified by reporting her behavior; she is one of society’s many individuals who possess “grab and snatch” characteristics.
I was saddened by her actions; however, it is not my place to criticize the actions of others. The concern is only to focus on my behaviors and whether or not I am doing what is right. Fortunately, I was molded as a young child by a loving and selfless Mother, to serve others. It was her ministry to always provide for those in need, and at 85 years of age, she is still blessed and highly favored, and assisting others.
In spite of my upbringing and career as a nurse, there was a period in my life when I utilized my abundance of resources only for myself. I am unable to provide an explanation for the loss of my “selflessness” and the gain of the characteristic of “selfishness”. I can truthfully say that it happened so fast that when I assessed the situation, I had 18 bags of clothing to give away.
From the act of giving my excess clothing away, God caused me to reach a crossroad in my life. I vowed to never place my selfish desires above those who are in need. If not me, then who?
The good great (intended emphasis) news is that there are still many individuals who are committed to and march in God’s “Army of Selflessness”. You can become a soldier at any point and at any time in your life.
Prayer for today: Dear God, I ask you to give me the desire and courage to change my selfish ways. It is my desire for a total makeover of my character. I need to assume the responsibility of giving myself to serve others. Please help me change from selfish to selfless. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen!
Sonya Johnson Ruiz