The Root of Selfishness and How to Uproot It

There are six things the Lord hates in Proverbs 6. Do you know what they have in common?


We talked about the first three already – pride, lying, and murder. In fact, lying is such a detestable thing that it appears on the list twice.

Now let’s discuss the rest.

The fourth thing is a heart that hatches evil plots. I see this as those plans you make that elevate yourself and diminish those who stand in your way. If you hurt someone along the way as you trample down the path to success, so be it. As long as you come out the winner, that’s all that matters. Humanity is for the weak.

Number five is having feet that run to do evil. If you’ve known an alcoholic or you have struggled with that, you know how it feels. Whenever an opportunity to take a drink comes, you seize it like there’s never going to be another chance for the rest of your life. It’s as if all the alcohol supplies in the world will dry up if you don’t take that drink today, right now, this very minute!

The sixth thing is lying under oath. A quick scan of the news will reveal that this is the modus operandi for U.S. government officials when the spotlight hits them. “I don’t know. It’s not my department.” Ignorance of what is going on in your group is perfectly acceptable in politics. Here’s something new and bolder. Take the responsibility, but don’t take the blame.

And last but not least are family troublemakers. They’re not happy until you are unhappy. If they can’t pester you into a fit, they feel like they haven’t fulfilled their mission in life. So they poke and prod until your sides ache and the very sight of them makes you want to die.

Here’s the common thread in this list. At the heart of all these actions is selfishness. If you want to get doctrinal, it’s self-righteousness. The examples are extreme, but you and I know that at some time or another, we have been guilty of these things in some measure.

The author of Proverbs mentions all this so we could see our problem. Deep inside we’re selfish and selfishness wears these clothes. Jesus overcame the power of selfishness on the cross.

Accept that and you can too.