The root of selfishness grows in the ground of our sin nature, our environment, and the past hurts in our lives. Concerning our sin nature, we were born with a bent to be selfish – it is a part of our flesh. Concerning our environment, the homes in which we were raised may have trained us to be selfish. Abusive, angry homes produce kids who will fight to get what they want. Neglected kids will focus their attention on themselves. Overprotected, pampered kids are trained to be selfish. Concerning the past hurts in our lives, bitterness will produce an “I deserve what I want” mentality.
You can’t change the ground, but you can kill the root, and grow a new tree! This involves the biblical discipline of dying to self! It is fascinating that Strong’s Concordance illustrates the definition of the word die with the following example: “of trees which dry up, of seeds which rot when planted.” This procedure of dying to self involves actively realizing and reacting rightly to those areas of selfishness that are present in our lives. Husbands and wives, we need to realize that nothing gives us the right to be selfish! We need to realize that we are not always right or perfect! We need to realize that we don’t know everything! If our homes are going to be salvaged and thrive for God, we will need moms and dads, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, who die to self!!
Also, a biblical mindset is needed to combat the selfish flesh in which our soul resides. Why is it that we wonder why our families are falling apart, but yet we resist Biblical teachings, standards, and philosophies and embrace the very things that are causing the damage?
If we are ever going to get rid of the fruit problems in our homes, we need to address the Biblical responsibilities that are being ignored. As a rule, the man who doesn’t lead in a loving way (as Christ as the example) is selfish. As a rule, the woman who doesn’t submit to and reverence her husband is selfish. This selfishness root needs to be uprooted (not excused because of the soil it grows in) and a new tree (of obedience and fulfilling of biblical responsibilities) needs to be planted with selflessness at the root.