Friday, September 23, 2011

Thoughts on Selfishness

"If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness.  But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point." - C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

I realised something about myself this week: not only would I have been among the nineteen to say Unselfishness was the highest of virtues but I would also be among the least unselfish.  That is to say, I discovered how utterly selfish I am.

It pains me to admit this.  It's far too easy to focus on the faults of others rather than face my own shortcomings.  It's embarrassing because what might be obvious to many of you is only just beginning to dawn on me.

To look in the mirror and face your faults take courage. To work on overcoming them takes even more. I'm not sure I've got what it takes, but I'm about to dive headlong into trying.  I have to, for I don't just want to be unselfish; I want to love.

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

No, you DON'T have what it takes. And neither do I. When we realize that, and come to the place of saying, "I'm selfish. I can't love without the Holy Spirit loving through me", THEN we really begin to get it. And begin to really love. I can't do it. I just can't. But He's beautiful. And He can. And you know what? When I only get good at loving because He's loving through me, I get to see Him working live and right in front of my eyes. And NOTHING beats that.

BTW......You're better at it than you see. He loves deeply through you. And I for one have experienced that. Glory to Him for using you!