Selfishness comes in when we put ourselves first at the expense of others. When we become self consumed and blinded to the needs of others. Selfishness is so sneaky, it creeps in so slowly and then before you know, it's all about me and in that moment you see yourself as the victim. If you recognize this behaviour, then a red light should be flashing.
As soon as you start seeing yourself as the victim, everyone else's actions will be amplified and any negative reaction from someone might be experienced as an attack. When selfishness increases, your grace for others start decreasing and soon patience and kindness go out the window. In short, selfishness does not make us more satisfied, it actually makes us unhappier, because it creates an insatiable desire which nothing and no one can still.
So how do we manage the fine line between selfishness and putting ourselves first? Let's ask God to help us define our boundaries clearly and prompt us when we overstep boundaries onto other peoples’ lives in selfishness. Imagine your life as a field, if you keep living on other peoples’ fields then you are stealing from them and being selfish, but if you keep letting others steal from you by allowing them to pitch their tents (needs, desires, opinions) on your field, then you are not looking after yourself enough and you might be burdened and too thinly spread. Ensure that you live comfortably on your field, allowing time for God, loved ones and lots of time to give, love and be loved.
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