I was pondering just yesterday how selfishness leads so many believers to implode to their own detriment and the obvious harm done to the body of Christ. It, like pride, is so useless and unnecessary, really. Coincidentally, the Spurgeon site sent this out the same day. Touched (again) by his message, I have to pass it along to you with the beautiful photo as well! Spurgeon writes:
Our Lord Jesus Christ’s heart was expansive and unselfish. He gave himself for his enemies, and died breathing a prayer over them; he lived never for himself. You could not put your finger on one point of his life and say, “here he lived for himself alone.” Neither his prayers nor his preachings, his miracles or his sufferings, his woes or his glories were with an eye to himself. He saved others, but himself he would not save. His followers must in this follow him closely.
Selfishness is as foreign to Christianity as darkness to light. The true Christian lives to do good, he looks abroad to see whom be may serve, and with this eye he looks upon the wicked, upon the fallen and the offcasts, seeking to reclaim them. Yes, in the same way he looks upon his personal enemies, and aims at winning them by repeated kindnesses. No nationality must confine his goodwill, no sect or clan monopolise his benevolence. No depravity of character or poverty of condition must sicken his lovingkindness, for Jesus received sinners and ate with them. Our love must embrace those who lie hard by the gates of hell, and we must endeavor with words of truth and deeds of love to bring them to Christ, who can uplift then to heaven.
Oh that you may all be gentle, quiet, meek in spirit, but full of an ardent, burning affection towards your fellowmen; so shall you be known to be Christ’s disciples.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Call To Holy Living," delivered January 14, 1872. Image by Daniel Parks under Creative Commons License.