Our own health, wealth, and gratification
(James Smith, "Gleams of Grace" 1860)
By nature, every man is nothing but a mass of selfishness, seeking self-gratification in a variety of ways!
The less we indulge SELF, the better. Selfishness is . . .
the bane of our happiness,
a bar to our usefulness, and
renders us unlovely to both God and others.
One of the most beautiful traits in the character of our Lord and Savior, was His unselfishness. He never seemed to please Himself, or consult His own ease. He was everyone's servant, and everyone's friend. Through His whole life, His own testimony was illustrated, "The Son of Man did not come to be served — but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
We are naturally selfish, and seek our own health, wealth, and gratification, as our grand end. Selfishness clings to us, and appears more or less in our whole conduct.
But the gospel calls for self-denial, and bids us take up our cross, and follow our self-denying Master. The gospel requires dedication to God, that we may live to Him and for Him; and it directs us to seek the good of others — of all that are around us. What the gospel requires — true grace produces; and it will struggle and fight with all our selfish principles until it prevails.
We have lived long enough for ourselves! Would not we be more happy, and profitable to others — if we were less selfish, and more thoroughly imbued with the self-denying spirit of Christ?
Do we not live too much to ourselves? Do we not think too much of our own comfort, and pleasure, and ease?
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:3-5