These last few days have brought me some interesting experiences and, along with that, one blatantly obvious conclusion.
We, as a whole, are a selfish breed, and we choose to remain mired in our ways despite the visible destruction we cause ourselves and others.
For example, I'm sure most of you are sick of hearing about the plummeting stock market and how our economy is on the verge of another depression. I wish I knew all the technical financial lingo to make it sound like I'm saying something intelligent, but everyone who knows me knows I'm not very intelligent. However, as the expression goes, we've made our bed, and now it's time to lie in it. Somewhere along the line it became easy for people to obtain & spend money they don't have: so easy, in fact, that not only is it a way of life for the majority, but to be debt-free is both rare and "not a big deal." And when we spend money we don't have, those who do will run out. When we run out of money, it becomes very difficult to pay others for their services, and we magically no longer require those services. This means that people lose their jobs. I found out last week that I am going to be one of those people, and to be honest, it irks me just a tad to know that this happened because others have no regard for self or others. What's that magic phrase again? Ding-ding-ding - self-control!
I also had the pleasure of seeing an old college buddy get hitched this weekend, and with that, seeing a couple of my close guy friends who are several states away. A good time was had by all, and there may or may not have been alcoholic beverages involved. Unfortunately, a couple individuals (thankfully it was not more than a couple) did not keep control of their consumption of said beverages. Again, we see how a lack of self-control hurts self and others - one makes an ass of oneself, while those who care about them are hurt because they wants what's best for that person and instead get to witness the polar opposite.
Our selfishness often times appears to permeate our every molecule. I think it even comes out in our sincere attempts to perform acts of selflessness - not necessarily because of impure motives, but sometimes because we take pride in knowing what's best for someone else or even just being right. This is often not the case. At the end of Job 2 (when the bad stuff first happens to Job), his friends were there for him; however, contrary to our natural tendencies, they did not try to speak words of comfort and advice or do anything for him. Instead, "they sat in silence for 7 days and 7 nights, for they saw that his pain was very great." This is probably not something I would've thought of if I was Job's friend. Granted, this was the only time in the book of Job that they did anything right, but that's beside the point.
Beware the footholds that Satan can grab hold of in your life. Though I serve a God who's more powerful than our Enemy, the fact remains that he does have the power to grab hold of us in virutally any way, shape, or form. Even our selfless deeds and good intentions. Look for opportunities to give of yourselves and serve someone else without intent of gain, and in doing so, never stop examining yourselves.