I have often thought I do not deal with selfishness, and my heart has never been prideful. However, over the last several years, my mind has turned. Through several examples in Scripture and life, God seems to be telling me that there is a bit of selfishness in every one of us.
Tonight at youth group, we continued our discussion on friendship, and I was reminded yet again. As I taught the middle school students, the thought came through even more. So many times, we focus on ourselves. We go into friendships thinking about how we can benefit. Surely most of us do not do this out of spite or even on purpose, but it does happen. At the root of our lack of solid friendships is this selfish attitude. It is the cause of people not really growing close, and it is the cause of all the bullying that seems to be growing into a huge epidemic.
Whether in schools or online, it seems that many teens and children are struggling today with being bullied. Honestly, this sickens me. I guess because I do not understand how someone could be so stuck on themselves that they would go out of their way to bring another person down. The fact that people are able to completely ignore the well-being of others is so foreign to me. I thank God that He gave me parents and others who did not let me go that route in my own life!
That is why student ministry is such a big part of my life. I know that it is an extremely large undertaking to change the world for Christ. However, I want to start somewhere. If we are able to create an environment at RCC where no one felt alienated or belittled, it would be the type of place to where students would love coming. If every person that walked in the door felt like they were the most important person, there is no telling what type of an impact that would make.
Not only that, but I want to help students understand how much friendship can matter. When a student is consistently kind, caring, and encouraging, people will want to be friends with them. Over time, they can point them to Jesus. The impact that type of attitude could have on a person is extensive. It could mean the difference between a teen struggling with depression or enjoying every day of high school. It could mean the difference between a student hating themselves and feeling lonely or having a friend who makes them feel at peace and encouraged.
At the root of all this that we need to overcome is selfishness. We, as a people, need to get over ourselves. We need to realize that we are not the center of the world. Instead, our focus needs to be first on Christ and then on others. Jesus states that we should follow His example. I think one of the biggest things He modeled for us was His humility. He never put Himself first. Instead, He served His friends and followers. In fact, He even served His enemies. If we could even start to move in His direction, just in little steps, I think people will be so floored. If we genuinely care for others, putting ourselves aside, I can only imagine what type of an impact it could have on others.