We all know folks whom we would consider to be tight or cheap with their money. This is not the same as being SELFISH.
SELFISH is defined as (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. This is one of those quiet, deadly sins that sneak up in our lives without much notice at first.
About a month ago, I was shopping in a relatively new store in our city, a type of décor shop where you can purchase items to decorate your home.
An interesting conversation took place next to me. Two nice friends were discussing a 3rd person’s dilemma of owning a new home and not having a clue as to how to decorate it.
One of the ladies said, “Why don’t you help her? You are a professional decorator and she would absolutely love your help.” To which the woman sweetly replied, “No thanks.”
The conversation escalated, “Come on, why won’t you help her a little? It won’t cost you anything; and, I bet she would pay you.” The woman sweetly said, “Please drop it, too much effort.”
The story gets better:
At checkout, the woman who couldn’t put out the effort was recognized by the clerk. “Hi, Sally, I’m so glad you are in here. I have a quick question about these two different blue vases. Would you have a few seconds to match some paint chips to them?” A big sigh came from Sally’s mouth, “Actually this isn’t a good time for me, and blue is blue. It really won’t matter which one you use.”
With that, she smiled sweetly, and walked to her car.
First, we all know blue ISN’T just blue! HELLO!
Yes, you can argue perhaps she was tired; but, she was also being selfish with her time and expert knowledge. How difficult would it have been to look at a couple paint swatches?
SELFISH people put their needs and desires first. They are top priority. They do what they want, how and when they want to do it, not caring about others. Their own agenda takes top precedence.
Every human temperament has a bent toward selfishness. However, of the four human Temperaments, the sweet GREENS have the biggest struggle with this negative area. First, most observers cannot even identify this behavior, in a GREEN, because the GREEN Temperament is the nicest of all four personalities.
GREENS are seriously the nicest people in the world. Rarely do they do anything wrong at first glance. And, they are extremely kind – regarding things they want to do.
We have a predominantly GREEN granddaughter. She is the sweetest, nicest quietest little girl. So, most don’t notice when she decides to NOT give someone the time of day – or, NOT answer a question if she isn’t in the mood – or, NOT help her sisters or cousins with something when she doesn’t feel like it. Also, in her defense, GREENS, by nature, have less energy than the other three Temperaments; so, she is naturally tranquil.
I have watched her walk out of her way to keep from helping someone if she didn’t want to, sweetly smiling the whole time. She will completely ignore a conversation if she isn’t interested in what is being said – even if directed toward her. BUT, she does it so sweetly, she gets away with it.
In a GREEN adult, this selfish trait may appear as if they hadn’t heard what you said, or hadn’t been paying attention. However, it is quite possibly a GREEN who has lost interest in you, or your conversation, and has moved on.
However, this selfish trait will grow stronger and cement-like if we don’t catch it early.
The parents of our granddaughter are wise to her clever strategies’- her avoidance and ‘not caring’ about others. They are working on this with her – explaining that it takes effort on our parts to do things for others. We have to intentionally think about other people, and put others’ desires before ours on occasion.
GREENS have a quiet strong will. Because they are so nice, outsiders rarely recognize their amazing strength and will.
A GREEN friend of mine was in an abusive marriage. She had quietly endured 20 years of mental and emotional abuse without announcing it to the world. She was the nicest woman and wife. One day, she had had enough. She never raised her voice. She quietly announced she was done and moved out. She shocked everyone who knew her. Why not start counseling? Did she want to get outside help? No, she had endured to the breaking point, and now was done. She had a quiet strength no one would have suspected in a million years.
Because GREENS have an extra high tolerance of NICE, they use selfishness almost as a protective covering. They resort to taking care of themselves first to safeguard against hurtful situations.
The first step, in moving past this behavior in a GREEN, is instilling TRUST in God; because, He offers the protection needed.
“God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray.” Psalm 34:7
Of course, Jesus is our example, always helping others- even when He was exhausted and done with His day. He also gives us the energy we need.
“It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it.” I Cor. 15:11
The Bible says:
“Live kindly and generously” …Genesis 18:18
“Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.” Luke 6:38
“So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.” Deut. 15:11
“What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once.” Isaiah 58:7&8
“Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God.”
I Peter 5:2 (All passages from The Message)
We are all busy people. Once again, God put us on this earth to show HIS love and concern for others. This will require unselfish living, extra energy and on purpose giving of ourselves every day!
Set a goal to work on some negative traits this summer and let me know how you are doing!