Is God Selfish?

Ever notice that God tends to make everything about himself?  God’s rules, God’s way, God’s plans, God’s morals, God’s house, God’s people, God’s everything. I’d quote a Bible verse, but just fan through and point to one, you’ll see it. As a matter of fact, I totally just did that and found Numbers 24:13: “What the Lord says, that I must speak.” See?! And everything good that Christians can do is all supposed to be for the Glory of God, not themselves, and not even the people they may help. Why does God say that absolutely everything is about him?

Because…well…it is.

If you don’t believe the Bible, you’ll see it as nothing more than a cosmic jerk trying to wedge his way into everything. But if you do believe the Bible, then the history of the universe goes something like this: God made the world, God made stuff, God made people. People do stuff in God’s world until the end of time, then God destroys the world and takes everybody into whichever eternity they chose. If you don’t believe in God, this post isn’t to convince you. But if you do, perhaps you’ll learn something.

Don’t Touch My Stuff, Man!

The first thing we have to realize is that it is possible that everything can be about somebody without them being selfish. Imagine you walked into the home of a wealthy bachelor. Why is the couch facing the direction it does? Because he wants it that way. Why does he have the color carpet he does? Because he wants it that way. Why are there Pringles in the pantry? Because he likes Pringles.

Now is this man selfish for having everything his own way in his own house? Of course not. WE are the selfish ones who try to rearrange the furniture every time we come over for a visit. We turn the TV more towards the couch and away from the chair God’s sitting in. We start tearing out the carpet because it it’s ugly. We complain that God doesn’t have the right flavor of chips. Eventually, we stop coming because it’s like he wants to have his own way in his own house or something.

Such is the world. God created the world and everything in it. (Genesis 1) Psalm 24:1 says that the Earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. Jesus’s parable of the talents spoke of our stewardship with God’s stuff (Matt 25: 14-30). This isn’t selfishness, this is rightful ownership. God is the maker and owner of everything and has full rights to do absolutely anything he wants with it. That includes us.

We as humans have this fantasy that our life is our own. Our lives are on rent. One day, God will take them back (Luke 12:20 describes God requiring [as an order, not a need] a man’s soul). Again, if you’re not a Christian, I understand why you think this. But if you believe that there truly is a God of the Bible, then why do you go about as though your life is yours to live absolutely any way you wish? Where is your authority in this?

Have you forgotten Galatians 2:20? “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Translation: your life is not your own. If you invited Christ into your life, then don’t be surprised when God starts arranging the furniture the way he likes it.

And yet…

And yet…God does make it all about us. We just refuse to see it.

God turned the chairs to face each other so he could speak life and wisdom into us. But we’d rather turn back to the TV. God has good and tasty food in his kitchen that will fill us up and warm our very souls, but we’d rather go to McDonalds. God has greatness set aside for us, but we are satisfied with mediocrity. As C.S. Lewis said, “We are too easily pleased.”

God had every right and authority to destroy mankind for their rebelliousness, and he was tempted several times throughout the Bible. Yet every time, he spared us. More than that, he send his son Jesus to die for us. For the whiners and complainers who will most likely reject God’s sacrifice anyway. And he delays the end of the world so that more will have the chance to accept Him.

And yes, God wants to bless us. Delighting in us is his favorite past time. Malachi 3:10 says that God will bless us so much that we won’t be able to receive it. God willingly arranges his house to best welcome us. He puts the best food on the table, he gives us the best chair in the living room, and gives us the largest bed to sleep on.

But never think that it’s because we’re so amazing. It’s not because we deserve it in any sense whatsoever. God does all this for us simple because he is just that wonderful.

It’s all about Him, and He’s all about us.

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2 thoughts on “Is God Selfish?

  1. Seriously bawling right now. I forget how big God is, how amazing He is and how much He loves everyone single one of us. Best one yet son. Sooo proud of you!

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  2. I’d just like to point out that not only is the universe His “stuff”, but He also knows better than we do. He knows what’s good and bad for us. That means when He gives a commandment, it’s for His glory AND for our good. Sometimes I’m tempted to think I know more than He does. Unfortunately, I’m always wrong.

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