How do I eradicate selfishness and pride?
Selfishness and pride are natural human frailties. We each have a sinful nature to battle against. (See Romans 7 and 8.) Selfish and proud thoughts will come into our minds as long as we live in sinful flesh, but Jesus has promised to help us overcome and to bring every thought into subjection to Christ. (See II Corinthians 10:5.)
We have to live with ourselves, and the Lord has created us with the wonderful privilege of choosing to be the kind of a people with whom we would like to live. Besides this, God created us with natural laws in our bodies. For example, if we do a certain thing over and over again we establish a habit; practices of which become so strong that we ourselves cannot change them. These habits may be good or bad; they may be the way we eat, the way we talk, or a myriad other things, but these things define who we are and this is what we depict to others. Our habits designate how we react to life.
There is another dimension of life that would be helpful upon which to deliberate. The Creator gave us thinking power and the ability to reason. These are the powers that guide and direct the choices we make in life. For instance, we choose where to live, what career to pursue, and many other things that we have the power to govern and the ability to accomplish. Through the power of conscious choice and reasoning we may learn that we have developed some habits that are not pleasing, then make a decided effort to change. Yet it is here that most are struck with the realization that habits are stronger than we are. The anger, peevishness, indignation, and other sudden reactions that arise when situations are not to our liking are the result of habits that have been formed.
Now we come to another aspect of life: we have a loving, all-powerful Saviour who came to this earth and lived a sinless life. He met every temptation that we have to meet and, through prayer and faith in His Heavenly Father, overcame sin. The beautiful thing about this is that Christ has promised to give us the same power that He had so we can also overcome.
In order to have the power to overcome that Jesus had, we must live the kind of life that He lived. He was determined to do His Father’s will, He spent many hours talking with His Father in Prayer, and He spent time memorizing the Scriptures. When He was tempted, He quoted Scripture or prayed. We may do the same thing and, through His power, overcome sin.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name.” John 1:12.
Selfishness and pride are not things that can be overcome quickly or easily, or by human power alone. If these things are to be overcome, the heart must be humbled and committed. Prayerfully petition the Holy Spirit to create in you a clean heart and renew a right spirit within you. Become intimately acquainted with the character of Christ, for by beholding, we become changed. “As the flower turns to the sun, that the bright beams may aid in perfecting its beauty and symmetry, so should we turn to the Sun of Righteousness, that heaven’s light may shine upon us, that our character may be developed into the likeness of Christ.” Steps to Christ, 67, 68.
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