by Rick Warren — July 31, 2023
From Better Together
“Look out for one another's interests, not just for your own.”
Philippians 2:4 (GNT)
Selflessness brings out the best in others. It builds relationships. What does it mean to be selfless? It means you think a little less of yourself and a little more of others.
The opposite of selflessness is selfishness—and it’s the number one cause of conflict and arguments. The Bible says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have” (James 4:1-2 NIV).
Self-centeredness destroys relationships.
One night I got into bed three seconds before my wife, Kay, did. When she got into bed, she asked if I locked all the doors. But in those three seconds, I pretended to be almost asleep and whispered, “No.” She then got up and locked all the doors. There’s a word to describe what I did: It was selfish—pure and simple.
The problem is, being selfish is human nature. We naturally think about our own interests, our hurts, how we look, and how we feel. Even culture tells us, “Do what you think is best for you.” But the Bible says, “Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own” (Philippians 2:4 GNT).
What happens when you look out for others’ interests and not just your own? Not only will it transform your relationships, but it will also transform other people. It causes the other person to change, because you’re not the same person anymore, allowing them to relate to you in a different way.
I’ve seen it many times: When you treat cranky, unlikable people with kindness, instead of treating them the way they deserve, they often transform into nice people.
The greatest lesson in life is learning to be unselfish—but it won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take the rest of your life.
The good news is, God doesn’t leave you all alone to learn how to be selfless. Romans 8:26 says, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness” (NLT).
Never stop making the effort to be more selfless. God’s Spirit is with you to help you break the cycle of selfishness! When you do, you will see transformation in all your relationships.