Interesting study this week on the correlation between sinful fear and selfishness by Lou Priolo.
Here goes —
People who are selfish tend to be fearful.
People who are fearful are necessarily selfish.
The opposite of (and remedy for) sinful fear is love. First John 4:18 explains, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
Love is also antithetical to (as well as the antidote for) the sin of selfishness. According to 1 Corinthians 13:5, love “does not seek its own.” It is not selfish. Try looking at it as an equation.
Love is the opposite of Fear.
Love is the opposite of Selfishness
Now see what remains when you “factor out” love from the equation.
Fear and selfishness are corollaries.
Love is being more concerned with what I can give than with what I can get.
Selfishness is being more concerned with what I can get than with what I can give.
Fear is being more concerned with what I might lose than with what I can give.
Read that through a few times…and if you’re like me…you’ll agree that Priolo’s definition hits the mark.
It also hits me square in my heart and I have to ask myself how often I allow selfishness (in its many forms) stop me from truly loving another person.