Lovers of Their Own Selves
In 2 Timothy 3, God gave Paul a list to characterize “the last days”, or as it is also referred to, “perilous times”. The first trait written was that people would be lovers of their own selves: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves…” (vs. 2). People in the last days would be known as being fond of self, or having self-love, i.e. selfish.
Now we can clearly see that this selfishness, this self-love, is normal in the human heart. In fact, it shows itself in a person as soon as that person is able to express himself! For example, no one has to teach a cute, cuddly, little baby how to throw a temper tantrum to get his own way. That selfishness comes naturally.
So what does a people, a society, a nation do to curb this selfishness in the individual? Well, a healthy society will impose restraints on this self-love. It will recognize the need to teach children respect for authority, such as with their parents at home, their teachers at school, their preachers at church, and with the law of the land. If a nation will be healthy and vibrant, it must teach children to be well-mannered and respectful of persons and the property of others.
But what is our nation doing about this? Is our society winning the battle to instill a respect for others, or is it losing ground by institutionalizing the love for self? We may be able to answer this by asking ourselves the following:
Are parents being encouraged to train and discipline their children, or are they discouraged from it lest the children become “inhibited”?
If a child is failing the courses at school, is he being held back, or is the grading system being adjusted lest their flunking do them “psychological harm”?
When someone commits a terrible crime, are his rights being taken away, or do criminals still have rights, even though they’ve shown no respect for the rights of those they’ve robbed, maimed, or murdered?
Do we have a generation addicted to drugs [and alcohol – a drug!], given over to self-indulgence, and without regard for social values?
Does today’s “music” of the world reflect and reinforce a love of self?
Do the “worship services” of many churches reflect and reinforce a love of self?
Selfishness [self-love] has become institutionalized in our society. Selflessness is not a hallmark in our country, although it still can be seen, but selfishness is prevalent and easy to see.
I know that evil has always plagued societies, but it would seem like Bible Christianity had acted as a restraint in our society. However today, it sadly seems like Christian standards of morality and decency are being pushed aside, and perversion is flaunting itself proudly in many communities, colleges, communication mediums, and in our nation’s Courts.
Are we in the last days? I believe we are. But does this mean we should just sell everything and go hide away on some mountain or in a cave? Of course not. What do we do? Well I’m glad you asked!
Let’s be men and women of character – CHRISTIAN CHARACTER! Let’s train our children in the way they should go. Let’s obey the commands of the Lord that are intended to restrain our self-love and keep us from the practice of sin; and let’s see that same obedience developed in our children, our next generation. The Lord Jesus said, “If ye love ME [not self], keep MY commandments”. Let’s put into practice selfLESSness by having J.O.Y. = Jesus, Others, then You!
Yes, perilous times are upon us, but know this: The darker the night, the brighter the light! We and our children can live a life that’s selfless and that honors the Saviour!
Pastor Mike Szekely