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Personal Growth

Selfishness: the Struggle for Christianity in 2014

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Photo courtesy of: www.freedigitalphotos.net

I’m a very religious person. I have been all my life. I was born into my religion, and I will die in it too. It shapes absolutely everything about me. It’s one of those religions that pretty much dictates my life, but I’m okay with that, because it’s making me a better person.

I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but most people call me Mormon (if you’re looking for Mormons, find the guys riding bikes in a white shirt and tie; they’re the missionaries). Because my religion is so intertwined with my soul, it’s hard for me to understand people who aren’t the same.

I don’t wonder about the depreciation of religious people in the U.S.; they’ve got new things to worship, like Lamborghinis, iPhones, and celebrities. No—it’s not the how, but the why.

The average person today is more focused on instant gratification—one click, and you own that Xbox, one tweet and you’re one step closer to that celebrity that you’re infatuated with. To use a very clichéd phrase: No one is stopping to smell the roses! No one is thanking God for their gifts, and not just their gifts but their lives, their loved ones, that they have a roof over their head and a steady job.

Instead of appreciating what they have, they ignore it and think about what else they can gain. Companies encourage this. You want the latest Android phone? Go ahead and buy it, but in six months it will be obsolete. So buy the next one. And the next. Suddenly you’re addicted and drowning in debt.

The title of this article is “Selfishness: the Struggle for Christianity in 2014.” At first glance, those two things may not seem to have very much in common; however, the struggle for Christianity today is that it is competing against selfishness. The whole point of religion is giving oneself up to God; it’s an entirely selfless act, one which implies that service to God also means service for his people. And that is what I intend to do.

How about you?

  • Claire Billings

    Danielle,

    You’re right on target about the distractions of material possessions versus a life with God. Your point that “things” never satisfy because they’re outdated as soon as we buy them implies that our addiction continues in order to try to keep up with others and the latest gadgets–though we never really can. We are indeed fighting against our own selfishness. It is hard to find the balance between possessions and spirituality. We certainly don’t advocate for a sparse existence, but we have to learn how to balance (the Golden Mean).

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts. They certainly are valuable and applicable to our society today.

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