Relationship with a Selfish Person
A relationship with a selfish person is an illusion. It can only happen on his terms. By definition, relationship should be reciprocal. The selfish person takes, but does not return … unless he knows that he will get some kind of benefit from his giving.
We all start out with God having selfish motives. The first steps of our relationship with Him are shallow. Those first steps may be intense in feeling. They may produce a seemingly high level of commitment, but for most people, that commitment fades when the beautiful bubble bursts.
New love. Whether it is a man and a women, or a person with God, there is the time of new love. There is a time of excitement when “I feel so good when I am around you.” Do you hear the selfishness of that statement? What happens when the feelings are no longer good?
Deeper relationship begins when the selfishness ends. A relationship with a selfish person is an illusion. Once it is tested, the shallowness will be exposed. Unless there is movement away from selfishness, the time of testing will bring an end to the relationship. That is all too common in our world.
God pours out a “first fruits” experience on us so that we might know His goodness. The first fruit is that one ripe peach that is ready ahead of the crop. It is not time for the harvest, but we get one quick, tantalizing taste. He gives us a little taste of heaven and of His goodness in the middle of a life that is more often a struggle.
God knows that if He is to have a relationship with us, the selfishness has to go. He knows that He cannot continue to pour out the blessings or it will turn to selfishness. At best, it will grow a shallow relationship. At worst, the person will turn against Him and totally cut off relationship.
So many, today, have sold God as a kind of gift giving Santa Claus who never gets angry with sin and who always gives us what we want. That kind of God would shape human beings into selfish creatures. God wants relationship. To have relationship, He has to deal with our selfishness. To deal with our selfishness, He must respond to us in a way that grows us up. The greater gift is godliness, and that generally comes through testing.
Many say they want to have a relationship with God. The real test of relationship is “How do we respond when we are the ones who have to do the giving with no expectation of return on our part?” Sometimes God takes us through that “valley of the shadow of death.” He takes us through dark places that seem like they will never end. Will we continue to love when there seems to be no love coming back our way?
What is your capacity for relationship? Do you tend toward selfishness? Can you hear God’s commands and walk them through to the end regardless of the seeming benefit to yourself? God wants relationship with you. Press on through the dark times. Stretch out your capacity for Him. Make room for Him. In the end, the one who presses through the test will have the greater joy … the greater blessing. He will have the fullness of God. That is the greatest gift!