by Rick Warren — August 3, 2022
From Awesome Relationships
“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).