19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
Voice from the Church
“If there is any one message all our psychopagan prophets insist on, it is that we must love ourselves. But if there is any one message that Jesus and all his saints insist on, it is that we must deny ourselves. In Christ’s psychology, the absolute oxymoron is ‘St. Self.’” (Peter Kreeft, b. 1937)*
Ever since the Great Fall, man has been born with a heart and mind turned inward. The history of the human family is a record of tragedy after tragedy because of this innate bent—a preoccupation with our wants and supposed needs. From the self-centered driver on the highway to the political despot ruling the lives of millions, sinful self-interests have wreaked havoc on our planet.
It is only through our merciful God’s regenerating and sanctifying grace, operating freely in the lives of receptive people, that man can be adequately programmed by the Spirit to look lovingly outward instead of selfishly inward.
Christians who have not allowed the Spirit of Christ to fully cleanse and conquer their self-centered disposition, and who fail to keep closely attached to the Vine, can cause repeated damage in their relationships. Their natural default mode to selfishness will often rise to the surface in testing times. To follow Christ is to forsake ourselves.
He came into our world to do His Father’s will,
Leaving the glories of Heaven behind.
We will never fulfill our Father’s plan for us,
By serving ourselves instead of mankind. (RIT)
* Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Penseés Edited, Outlined and Explained, p. 63
WellSpring: 365 devotional readings
Ralph I. Tilley