One of the most selfish things I do happens on Sunday afternoons. My stepmother told me that I would have to give it up once kids came along. But, I didn’t. I continued to hold on to a tradition that has graced the landscape of my life for over 20 years. What is it? The Sunday afternoon nap! That right, I am a Sunday afternoon napaholic. And proud of it!
I can dress it up a lot of ways but bottom line the nap is all about me. I love it. I love to turn a ballgame on and fall asleep. (I even get upset if someone turns the TV off while I am sleeping because I could wake up and at any time and finish the game.) Over time I have learned that you can sleep during a movie too thanks to my sweet wife. But the ballgame is better.
I was working through Philippians 2 and ran across a great passage on selfishness I thought I would share with you.
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1) We should be concerned about our own interest, but not only our own interest
2) We should be concerned about the interest of others
It is not inherently sinful to be concerned about our own interest. That sounds strange doesn’t it? We have been given a stewardship to manage that could be summed up as our own interest. You know the ones I am talking about: family, job, friends, and finances. But, we are not to be completely consumed by those but to somehow move from beyond our little circle to concern for other people.
My church just held an event call the Beautiful Day where as a church we spread out all across our community and tried to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. What a great opportunity to get outside my world and enter someone else’s world. It doesn’t really matter what we did, but it is really important that we did something. As the old sage says, anyone completely wrapped up in themselves makes for a really small package. That’s me a lot of the time.
I think this thought is akin to the thought in the Great Commandment, when Jesus says we are “love others as we love ourselves”. To love properly we have to start by loving ourselves and then branch out from there to others. In a similar way we have to have some of our own interests dealt with before we can reach out and be concerned about the interest of others.
Does that sound right? Or am I just another narcissist looking for a way to show myself some love? Oh bother, who knows when it comes to making the right balance of meeting my needs verses others. Maybe I will just take a nap and sleep on it. That always brings a little clarity!
Photo by mysistersabarista