12 Apr The Consequences of Selfishness: A Lesson from Ahab in the Bible
Ahab was a very rich ruler who loved himself more than he loved his people. Surveying all that he owned, he was not satisfied with his magnificent estate. He craved a nearby vineyard owned by Naboth and was desperate to buy it. He approached Naboth for the sale, but Naboth refused to sell. Ahab went home angry and miserable, whined to his wife and sulked on his bed.
Ahab’s wife was upset with Naboth as well, so she devised an elaborate plan involving a banquet, scoundrels, accusations and murder. Ahab got his vineyard and thought nothing of the devastation his selfishness caused to Naboth’s family.
This selfish act by Ahab and his wife is a fascinating read found in the bible (1 Kings 21). It’s an example of what happens when we think of nothing but ourselves and our own satisfaction. However, this selfishness by Ahab only gave short term results as God eventually punished Ahab and his family for his crimes.
This extreme example of selfishness begs the question: what other behaviors stem from selfishness?
-Not listening to others
-Withholding necessary information
-Avoiding any responsibility when things go wrong
-Taking all the credit when things go right
-Criticizing other people while praising oneself
Since it can be difficult to recognize our own selfishness, it’s important to take a moment to reflect on our actions. For example, have you ever walked away from a conversation without getting to know the other person? That could be a sign of selfishness.
Another way to test ourselves is when entering a room; ask whether we think more about our appearance (us) or the people around us? If someone compliments our outfit or hairstyle, had we forgotten about it because we were too focused on others? That is, not selfish. As opposed to thinking what others are wondering about our outfit/hairstyle, and bringing the subject around to ourselves by mentioning it, that is, self-focused.
Let’s learn from Ahab’s mistake and strive to be less selfish in our actions.
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. James 3:16
Blessings Yvette Wynne