“The one human quality you can always depend on is selfish interest.” The first time I heard that I bristled. “Wow, what a nasty outlook on people. Are we really that bad?” Then the real question. . . “Am I really that way?”
The answer is yes, I am. And you are too.
And what’s really cool is that God made us that way.
To think about this, let’s make it simple…..there is me, and there’s everybody else.
Me – All the way back to Maslow, we’ve known that our self preservation is at the top of our needs hierarchy. We can’t help others if we don’t survive ourselves so we have this innate desire to stay alive….to protect ourselves….to look out for number one.
Everybody else – Once I realize that EVERYBODY ELSE has this same desire, this same need to survive and protect themselves, I can see through all the posing and positioning and remember that first and foremost… their need is to look out for themselves.
So, how does this help me?
In every situation, every relationship, ask “What does he need?” “What’s her ‘selfish interest’ here?” It’s there, whether you recognize it or not….whether they ever acknowledge it or not. The quicker and more accurately you can assess their selfish interest, the quicker you can decide if you can help them get what they want, or at least assess whether what you’re asking of them threatens what THEY want or need.
The trick is to realize what I…you….everyone needs. That’s Jesus Christ. When we “get” that, the desires of our heart…i.e. “what we want,” will change. Now I want what God wants. I want what God wants me to have. I’ve got peace. Finally.
Question: Can you think of a situation where ‘selfish interest’ is helpful and healthy?
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