Are You Spiritually Selfish?
We must concern ourselves with the physical and spiritual wellbeing of others and not focus on ourselves
In Isaiah 39 we read a prophecy given to King Hezekiah by Isaiah.
This occurs after Hezekiah does something foolish. He graciously receives envoys from the powerful behemoth, Babylon. Not only does he show off his nation’s wealth, he also provides his enemies one more reason to invade his country. God is not pleased.
Though Hezekiah’s actions cause this prophecy, he will not suffer personally. His family will. He is spiritually selfish. When Babylon attacks, some of his descendants will be castrated and carted off to serve the king of Babylon.
While the predictions are horrific, Hezekiah’s reaction is pathetic.
Realizing he personally will not suffer, he accepts God’s decree. Hezekiah will enjoy peace. He will encounter no pain. True, others will not experience peace. Other people will undergo the consequences, including his own family. But the king doesn’t care. He thinks only of himself. He will be fine, and that’s all that matters.
Hezekiah Is Self-absorbed
While peace and security are physical issues, there is a spiritual component at play here as well. Hezekiah does not confess his wrong actions. He does not ask God to change his mind. He does not intercede for his descendants and the turmoil they will endure because of his folly. He is spiritually selfish.We ignore the needs of others – to our discredit and their demise. Click To Tweet
It’s easy to be spiritually self-centered. We are content with our standing in God and lose sight of the struggles others face, both physically and spiritually. We fail to pray for them; we don’t seek ways to help. Our life is good—or at least good enough—and we dismiss the suffering of others. And, like Hezekiah, we do this to our discredit and to their demise.
Following Jesus is not about our comfort. It’s about loving others in his name and pointing people to him.
Anything less is being spirituality selfish.
Read more about the book of Isaiah in Dear Theophilus, Isaiah: 40 Prophetic Insights about Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.