Tag  |  selfishness

Hard Questions

One Saturday afternoon, a group of teenagers gathered in a cafeteria to ask one another some hard questions based on Philippians 2:3-4. Some of the difficult queries included: On a scale of 1 to 10, how selfish are you? How often do you take an interest in others too? Would someone describe you as humble or proud? Why?

God’s house

The demise of the “high street” shop is one of the most visible signs of the recession in the UK. As you walk down the main street of many towns, you find shop after shop closed and shuttered. Some city councils have recognized the negative social impact of the flopped shops and have installed facades featuring pictures of open stores to try to create the impression of a thriving community. The clever marketing trick might work for those driving down the street, but if you try to walk into one of the false storefronts you realize there’s nothing but an empty building behind the image.

selfish ambition

An article published in Fortune magazine addressed the values of some young adults—attitudes which pervade much of today’s culture, including the church. “On the Fast Track to the Good Life” noted that many young adults view success as being at the top of a major corporation, believe in themselves and their abilities and lack humility, view any relationship that slows their ascent up the corporate ladder as an anchor preventing their success, don’t value loyalty, and believe little can be learned from previous generations.

extending grace

When I was growing up, my family often became frustrated because I would take whatever I wanted into my possession. If anything went missing, the invariable response was to “look in Gina’s room,” for I was sure to have nabbed it. In a just vindication of their frustrations, my hairbrush now shows up in my daughter’s room, my scissors can be found in my son’s art case, and my phone charger is in my husband’s possession as much as my own.

heavy lifting

An elderly man saw me struggling to carry a heavy box from my car to the post office. Rather than let his age, a pronounced limp, or hot weather deter him, he rushed to my assistance.

humbly His

Only a handful of people know who wrote the book Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything. The writer, who published the book under the name “Anonymous,” is a well-established author who is living out the main point of his (or her) message. According to Anonymous, the book is “a call to stop imitating the world’s formula for success and instead follow the model of our humble King.”

guilty as charged

I recently read of the acquittal of a teenage girl who had been accused of blasphemy under her country’s strict blasphemy laws. If she had been convicted, she would have been imprisoned for life. It was found, however, that a religious teacher had promoted false evidence to frame her.

true love

When I stopped by a nearby restaurant to pick up some food, a guy and a girl standing in the parking lot caught my attention. Their arms linked together, the guy craftily reached to place his hand between her legs. My heart sank, and I began to pray that they know the beauty of glorifying God with their bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).

recalculating relationships

A comedian once mused that he wished someone would make a GPS for husbands. He said something like this: GPS: “Compliment your wife’s appearance.” Comedian: “Hey, honey, you look really good.” GPS: “Ask her about her day.” Comedian: “How was your day, sweetheart?” GPS: “Pretend to be listening.” Comedian: “Oh . . . Really . . .” GPS: “Flatter your wife.” Comedian: “Um . . . Hey, you’re gonna look really good once you put all your make-up on.” GPS: “Recalculating.”

dinner and a sinner

Several years ago, while vacationing in Washington, DC, my family noticed a large crowd forming in front of a popular downtown theater. The word on the street was that Colin Powell, the United States Secretary of State at the time, was coming to the theater that evening to watch a play. We quickly learned that watching high-ranking public officials come and go was a favorite pastime of tourists.

dying for Jesus?

At a missions conference, the director challenged the participants to consider fulltime missionary work—calling for those who were willing to die for Jesus to stand up and to receive prayer. No one did. Discouraged, he complained to the senior pastor. The pastor said, “Don’t fret if no one is willing to die for Jesus. Worry if no one is wanting to live for Jesus!”

when walls fall

Every Monday evening at 8:30 p.m., the walls of my house begin to vibrate. Far from any earthquake tremors, my house instead responds to the sound of my husband and the young men in his small group as they begin their time of worship in song. As I sit upstairs, I love to hear their deep voices resonating throughout the house. It’s the sound of strength.


A student was praising one of my colleagues, and I was glad to hear it. This student had been critical of the professor, so I was pleased that she now saw what I already knew. But when she said that the professor’s class was her favorite, I felt a twinge of sadness. Why not mine? I had cheered for my…

tempted to control

I’ve never stood in high places or wielded authority over the masses, but in my little corner of the world I’ve felt its pull. Whether I’m trying to keep my heart from pain, make my husband agree with me, or prevent my children from experiencing hardship, the root is the same—control. We all face (and at times succumb to) the…

exercising love

Most Christians are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13 and even some non-Christians can recite portions of it. The beauty and wisdom in this great hymn of love is easy to appreciate, but when it comes to application . . . well, that’s another story.

The apostle Paul wrote this passage to a church that was dealing with the effects of…

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