Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions
I came across an acronym the other day I hadn’t seen before – WIIFM. It means, “What’s in it for me?”
It caused me to think about the question that I’m sure each of us has asked – what’s in this for me? We probably ask it every day, about everything in our lives. Salespeople constantly have this in the back of their mind as they try and sell a product: “This new product is necessary for you – it will make all the difference to your life – see what it can do for you!” So I think it’s pretty natural that you think about your own life, problems and challenges a bit more than you think about other people or things. It seems a natural thing to do, doesn’t it?
Our problem is that we live in a self-consumed world, or a self-absorbed world, where “I” am number one, and my concerns and interests are the most important. I will do whatever I please, and no-one is going to stop me. That seems to be the common theme of so many today.
As a result we have people who love to talk about themselves, and dismiss the views of others. They have little regard for the other person’s opinion and don’t really care what happens, as long as they are looked after. They make every moment and every experience about themselves. Do they look at the world around them, or are they too busy demanding the world look at them? The old fashioned word is self-centredness. Not a popular word today.
Are You Helping Others or Just Benefiting Yourself?
One cold day a crowd of people stood in front of a pet shop window and watched a litter of puppies snuggling up to each other. One woman laughed and said, “What a delightful picture of brotherhood! Look at how those puppies are keeping each other warm!” A man next to her replied, “No, they’re not keeping each other warm–they’re keeping themselves warm.” Simple story – but you get the message.
At a party one night, a married woman said to her friend with a degree of cynicism: “My husband and I have managed to be happy together for 20 years. I guess this is because we’re both in love with the same man.”
How truthful are we in asking, “Am I totally focused on me, myself and I?” Albert Einstein said that “only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile”. It is very similar to the Bible, and what Jesus says: “It is more blessed to give than receive”, as recorded by Luke in Acts 20:35. It means, it’s more fulfilling in life to consider others before yourself.
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Selfishness is that attitude of being concerned with one’s own interests above the interests of others. However, the Bible tells us to “do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4, NASB). It’s interesting to note in this passage that Paul compares selfishness to “empty conceit”—a term that could be translated “vanity” or “arrogance.” It refers to an overly high opinion of oneself.
Selfishness, then, is akin to narcissism. Selfishness can affect any aspect of your life. Your family is often first to pay the consequences of selfishness. You spend your time and/or money doing what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. You become so absorbed in your own schemes or problems, that you neglect your family. Then you wonder why family relationships are deteriorating.
We will continue exploring this topic tomorrow in “What’s in it for Me?” Part 2.