Richard was a farmer who lived in the desert. The Farmers Association allowed each farmer to access water only a few days per week. When Richard was done watering he needed to divert the water on to the next farmer. One day he decided he needed water more than his neighbor and he refused to pass the water on. He just let the water continue to flow into his own fields. At first his plants seemed to like it, but then his fields started to flood and his crop slowly died. Now because of his selfishness he no longer had a crop. He thought of his neighbors who had done without water while he had been using all of it. He decided since he no longer had a crop to harvest maybe he should help his neighbors out and send the water to them. This move on Richards part wasn’t entirely altruistic, Richard knew that without a crop he would need to buy food from his neighbors. Unfortunately it was far too late to salvage the crops they had planted. Richards selfishness caused not only his own crops to fail but those of his neighbors as well.
Anything rooted in selfishness will eventually die. Relationships where people selfishly use the other person for their own needs eventually shrivel up and disappear. Most parents consider their children as their most treasured “possession.” God loved His son Jesus, yet He chose to unselfishly send Him to this earth to die for our sins–sins against Him and His son. The more we allow that truth and reality to find it’s way into the deep places of our spirit, the more it will change us to react selflessly to the people and world around us and drive selfishness out of our hearts.