On Holidays and the Selfish Bent in All of Us

My two-year-old son is a reminder of the natural, sinful bent every human has. Everything is my son’s. My car, my wife’s car, my food, our TV, and even my shoes. Silly as it sounds, we all have this same selfish bent inside of us. The big difference between toddlers and us (adults) is that we are aware of our selfishness and oftentimes try to conceal it. My son has no clue he has a selfish bent…yet. One day he will reach the age where he will know the difference between being selfish and looking after the interests of others above his own.

I write this at the genesis of the Christmas season. Thanksgiving has just ended. Many of us have posted to social media many reasons why we are thankful. Myself included. This is the most wonderful time of the year! But I can’t help but notice as these special holidays become more and more commercialized the selfishness in us seems to get worse and worse. Do you see it? Thanksgiving has become “the day” before Black Friday. Thursday we are thankful. Friday we want the best deal. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not against Black Friday. I’m just pointing out that even though this is the most wonderful time of the year it’s also become the most selfish time of the year. We go from being thankful to this is what I want for Christmas in less than 24 hours.

I recently learned of a family skipping Christmas so that they could give gifts to a family in need. How cool is that? For a kid that takes a lot of selflessness to skip getting something they want to give something to someone else. What if instead of denying the selfish bent inside all of us, we embrace the true reason for the season (Jesus)? Aaron, I do embrace Jesus during the holidays! What about the rest of the year? Let’s be honest, do we always love others like Jesus and put the interests of others above our own?

Philippians 2:4 says:

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” ESV.

There’s nothing wrong with Black Friday shopping or sharing what you’re thankful for on Thanksgiving. We should be expressing thanksgiving all year long and we should be putting the interests of others above our own all year long.

Christmas can be a time to give a gift to someone rather than yourself. And many of us do that on Black Friday (and it’s honestly one of the best days to get a good deal on a gift for someone). We can all be selfish but let’s not forget all we have to be thankful for and learn to fight the selfishness inside and bless someone else. That might mean giving up that new camera to bless a family in need. That might mean giving up that new smart phone to help feed the homeless. Expressing thanksgiving and selflessness isn’t for a season. It’s a lifestyle for a Christian. You can still be thankful, enjoy Black Friday, and bless others. You can still embrace Jesus and enjoy the gifts under the Christmas tree. The bottom line is this: We all have a selfish bent. Fight it this year, reflect Jesus, and be thankful.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are two times of the year for many businesses to make a lot of money. I worked in retail for many years and this time of the year was always about the bottom line. How much money could be made or how much product could be sold. The selfishness seems to escalate this time of the year every year. I’m not innocent. I can be the most selfish person in the world. I’m challenging myself with this as well. Let’s not let the holidays become a season of selfishness but rather just another season of the year where we reflect our thankfulness and bless others.

How can you put the interests of someone else above your own this Christmas?

It’s a blessing to bless someone else. One act of selflessness can be a small window to help someone see the full picture of Jesus’ selfless act on the cross.

– Aaron

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  • Frances Ann Hall

    Great reminder for this time of year. Be thankful and bless others all year round. Great job Aaron!!