Why are we christians so selfish?

A lot has been said and is still being said about finances, prosperity et all. All sorts of keys, pearls of wisdom and doctrines are being dished out right, left and centre. A lot of these are personal opinion laced with one or two scriptural references while others are basically new age philosophies with no single scriptural backing whatsoever.

My previous post “only selfish people pay tithes” generated criticism and praises alike, with someone expressing concern that it encouraged the already dwindling tithing population to stop tithing while another’s comment was “If the problem is about being selfish, we all struggle with it; so it’s rather not thoughtful to assume largely that ‘ONLY “selfish people” pay tithes‘.”  This statement in itself is very true, selfishness is an ever-present human trait, whether you tithe or not.

What really does the bible have to say with regards to wealth and prosperity? If we isolate and preach them on their own without making them part of the entire message of the gospel, we run the risk of preaching a distorted gospel. We could liken that to saying that marriage is all about sex, when indeed sex is only a part of a much bigger picture. It is a relationship that involves commitments and sacrifices. Let us look at marriage in more detail.

Marriage is a relationship between a man and his wife.  A healthy marriage is one where this relationship is based on love. This love makes them sensitive to each other’s needs, share all that they have and make sacrifices for one another. They stick with each other through the good and bad times. Neither one of the partners involved put themselves first. This greatly contrasts a marriage that’s based on selfishness; a common example would be a woman marrying a man because he is wealthy or a man marrying a woman because she is good looking, how well will that marriage fare? That relationship is doomed from the start because of this selfishness of one or both parties.

Marriage is not the only relationship that can be exploited to selfish ends; other day-to-day relationships can also suffer the same fate. How do you feel when you have a ‘friend’ who only calls you when he needs something? You feel exploited, you feel used. I even heard that prostitutes feel used after they have been paid for sex! Surely the need to be appreciated is inherent in everyone.

This being said, how well do you think your relationship with God will fare if the only reason you became a Christian is because of what you stand to gain? That, unfortunately, is the problem with prosperity messages of today. God is viewed as a meal ticket. Avarice, selfishness and greed are cleverly disguised under a blanket of self-righteousness. God has now become a slot machine that if you give him $10, you would get $1000 in return. Some even go a step further and advocate that God is even more pleased with sacrificial giving. That is if you give all you have as an act of sacrifice, God would be bound to bless your cotton socks off. Tithes, sacrificial offerings, first fruit offerings, seed faith etc. all take their place within our selfish view of Christianity. These are all done because of the promise of abundant returns.

The fact of the matter remains, God is not interested in your money and He most certainly does not need it! All He requires from you is a relationship with Him! This relationship marks the difference between the early Christians and a lot of us Christians today. The early Christians loved God despite all they went through, they were terribly persecuted and never lost their faith in God. A lot of them were stripped of their personal possessions, thrown alive to lions, burnt alive and even crucified and yet their love for God was still as strong as ever.

The book of Acts never once mentions that offerings were raised to aid the spread of the gospel and yet lives were touched.

And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2: 47)

And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women,  (Acts 5: 14)

And when the people gave, they gave out of their love for God born out of a relationship and not because they were promised material returns by the Apostles.

All am saying in earnest is, Christianity is a personal relationship with God. It is a relationship that requires commitment, trust and fellowship. The more time you spend with Him, the more you get to know Him and the more you know Him the more you become like Him and thus you will be able to affect the lives of people you meet.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ainouno
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 02:59:12

    You are very resourceful and I like your hard work. Thank for sharing and teaching me the truth of tithing. I agree with you. Nowadays, believers are comfortable to accept what they know is wrong.

    Reply

  2. Rick
    Jul 26, 2009 @ 05:27:46

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I just wrote a new article on tithing. Tithing – Part I

    Part II coming out in a few days. I am glad you stopped by because it allowed me to discover your blog and I like what I am reading.

    The Early Church was a family/fellowship, in the Middle Ages the Church became and Institution with Clergy, today it is an Enterprise with CEOs.

    God bless you

    Reply

    • eliteinchrist
      Jul 26, 2009 @ 09:38:02

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for the kind words. I will check out your new post on the subject. And true we have completely lost the aspect of the church being a family and it is a pity.

      Thanks once again and God bless

      Reply

  3. tracy
    Oct 08, 2011 @ 16:29:02

    i think it is shocking that christains are so self opionated when i comes to the under dogs who so try to have that relationship with god that you speak of instead of trying to understand that persons needs or trying to get along side of them, i think a true christain( a follower ) is someone who would sacrifice almost everything to show that person gods love how much did jesus sacrifice for us and what it cost him some christains just moan and groan about day to day things as a whole, look at hindu they would die for their kin folk where are these christains hiding…..

    Reply

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