2 Timothy 3:2-5 (NIV) '2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud,abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people'.
I love this scripture, not because of the professed doom and gloom, but because it’s a perfect illustration of the times we are living in today. It is indeed the Age of Self, when the main delight comes from taking selfies, self-glorification, selfish ambition and personal success.
The problem is that this is a dangerous mind-set, the fastest way to self-destruction is being self-absorbed. The more we focus on ourselves and our needs, the less happy and content we become. Selfishness invites frustration, depression, emptiness and restlessness, no peace.
You see, we are told in Philippians 2:3-4 [do] not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Why? James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.
As being self-centered increases, love decreases, this is why divorce rates are on the increase & why teenagers are troubled. THERE IS NO LOVE! No time for people, only self. Technology & the celebrity culture have provided the perfect platform for the Age of Self to thrive.
The only antidote for the Age of Self is to look beyond yourself, your needs, your limitations & to focus on the needs of others. Scriptures tells us to think of others as more important than ourselves. When you do this you deflect negative internal thoughts and energy. Rather than saying why has this happened to me, say why has it happened to others? Don't make your problems a subjective, isolated and internal experience, REMOVE THE FOCUS FROM SELF. When you increase the focus, the problem gets bigger, when you decrease the focus the problem not only gets smaller, but the perspective is much wider. In the same way, when you focus on yourself even for a good reason, the wider perspective is lost & it becomes about me, myself and I.
Solution: Focus on God yes, without a doubt, focus on what the bible says & counteract those character traits with godly wisdom. We have become so obsessed with our bodies, looks and achievements that we have turned ourselves into mini Gods, worshiping ourselves and our desires. .
The most important commandment God has given us is; Love God above all & Love others as yourself. Sounds simple enough right? But the barrier to fulfilling these commands lies in people becoming lovers of themselves above all else.