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Self-Centeredness

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
October 21, 2022 9:00 am

Self-Centeredness

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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October 21, 2022 9:00 am

The divorce rates in America today are shocking, yet the media continues to paint marriage as the key to happiness and wholeness. What are we missing?

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Today on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. Christian marriage is recognizing the unmerited favor that God has shown to you in Christ and showing that same type of unmerited favor to your spouse. You say, well my spouse doesn't deserve my service. Of course they don't. That's the point.

You didn't deserve it from Christ either. Welcome to Summit Life with pastor and author J.D. Greer.

I'm your host Molly Vidovitch. You know, no matter how you slice it, the divorce rate in America today is shocking. Even couples who manage to stay together often find that their relationships become distant, loveless, and unfulfilling.

The flame that started out so bright has burned down to a flicker or is out completely. Yet we continue to hear that marriage is the key to happiness and wholeness. So what are we missing? Today pastor J.D.

talks about one central issue that can break down any relationship, friendships, and marriages alike. Also don't forget to stick around until the end of our program today. We have a fun resource to share with you this month. But right now let's join pastor J.D.

for today's message that he titled self-centeredness. We have been in a series for the last few weeks called Home Wreckers where we are looking at the things that the Bible points to that corrode our relationships and destroy our homes. Now you know that my preferred style of teaching you is just to find a book of the Bible and kind of walk you through it.

But what we've been doing in this series is we thought it'd be good to take a few weeks and just kind of pull back a little bit. And what we're doing is we're studying some core biblical principles and then applying them specifically to the home. This weekend we're going to look at something that absolutely destroys marriages. Absolutely destroys marriages. One marriage counselor I was reading said that this was the issue behind most all of the other issues in marriage. And by the way as I do every week I'm going to apply this a lot to marriage but you're going to see that this really applies to any relationship that you're in. So if you're not married don't tune out and say well this has nothing to do with me because these are core biblical principles we're going to look at that we're going to apply in one area and you're going to see how they apply just in any relationship that you're going to find yourself in.

This particular homewrecker is really deceptive because it tells you that unless you are this way you're never really going to be taken care of. I'm talking about self-centeredness. Self-centeredness. The idea that you need to look out for yourself. That you need to think first and foremost about your needs and what you need what you deserve because if you don't look out for your interest and your needs then who's going to?

Right? We are all naturally self-centered. It comes to us as naturally as breathing. I'm going to prove it to you when you look at a group photo who was the first person you look for?

You. And you determine whether or not the picture is a good picture solely on the basis of how you look in that picture. Everybody else could look like an idiot but if you look good you're like that's a great picture. We're just naturally self-centered. Well when you think about our life the first person's need we're concerned about is our own. Because again if you don't look out for your needs who else will? This is like the law of the universe. Every organism has to look out first for itself.

It's what we call survival of the fittest. Well I'm going to try to show you that while it may come instinctively to you it kills a marriage. One of the books I was reading said that self-centeredness might be the foundational problem in most if not every marriage. It certainly has been in mine. Veronica is so self-centered. No. I'm kidding. Self-centeredness is one of those things that you really usually have a hard time seeing in yourself but everybody else can see plainly about you.

Right? If you're married turn to your spouse right now and say do I need to listen to this message? They are nodding their head before I ever got the question out of my mouth. If your spouse will write you a note that you don't need to listen to this then you'll have to pay attention but otherwise you need to hear this. My wife found out that I was preaching a sermon on self-centeredness and she said isn't that like Representative Weiner doing a sermon on modesty?

I said probably. My life has been very, very self-centered. There are two things that have really broken the streak of self-centeredness in me or at least have begun the process of breaking the streak of self-centeredness.

The first is having kids. You know when you have kids you're forced to start thinking about somebody else. When you get married you're supposed to start thinking about somebody else. But when I got married I was like oh wait a minute instead of one person to think about me all the time now there's two people to think about me all the time.

But when you have kids it just doesn't work that way because that kid comes out of the womb he's not crying about your needs and how he's about to wreck your life he is crying about his own needs. In fact I remember the first three or four years after we had our first child how tired I would be after a vacation and just to be totally upfront with you I was mad about it. I would come back from vacations angry because I'm like vacations are about me. I'm supposed to unplug and I'm supposed to relax and rejuvenate and come back refreshed and I would come back more tired than when I left and then it just dawned on me it's about probably four years after we took our vacation after having kids I was like wait a minute wait a minute these vacations are not about me anymore they're entirely about the kids.

In fact the way I think of it now is if I ever come back from a vacation less tired than when I left for vacation then I need to repent because I did not serve my family the way that God has called me to serve my family. You're like well when when when do you get rest? I don't know.

I don't know. I get plenty of rest when I'm dead I think which after the vacation this year might be sooner rather than later but it's just not how you can't think that way but what I found was and this is one of the most beautiful things is I found that when I made that decision that vacations were no longer about me that they were about serving my children all of a sudden I began to enjoy them again because there's something that Jesus taught that you're going to see and what he said it's more blessed to give than to receive but the law of the universe may be survival to fit us but the law of God is that others first by giving to others and by pouring yourself out for others that's where you gain joy. You see that's the second thing that has taught me broken this streak of self-centeredness or begun to and that is the gospel which is what we're going to look at more deeply today. I want to try to show you how the gospel cures self-centeredness all right Philippians chapter 2 verse 1 where we're going to start the Philippians by the way are not getting along that's the context of this letter so Paul is saying this next passage to them about their dysfunctional relationships he's not talking directly about marriage but you'll see how it applies Philippians 2 1 so if there is any encouragement in Christ any comfort from love any participation in the spirit any affection and sympathy in Christ in other words if you have any concept at all of how God has treated you in Christ and the grace that he's shown you in Christ then I want you verse 2 to complete my joy by being of the same mind by having the same love by being in full accord and of one mind do you see where he starts with Christ the secret to living in right relationships is being in Christ apart from Christ we are terrible and we are destructive at relationships because we have this clingy sense of neediness and fear that causes us to manipulate and to use people that's what we've been talking about for the past few weeks but Christ releases you from that because in Christ a lot of the deep insecurities and fears of your soul are addressed there's a little phrase I'm going to start teaching you that if you take notes I'd encourage you to write down it is this in Christ you can give up all you have because in Christ you have everything you need in Christ you can give up all you have you can do without you can be neglected because in Christ you have everything you need I can be poor on earth because I'm rich in him I can be overlooked on earth because I'm cherished by him I can be nobody in your eyes because I'm somebody in his in Christ you can give up all you have or let go of all you have or do without all you deserve because in Christ you have everything you need it is only in Christ that you ever develop the attitude of being a servant because only in Christ will you have the satisfaction and security that will enable you to be able to take your eyes off of yourself verse three so he says do nothing from rivalry rivalry is competition competition we're always competing to make sure that our needs are met that we're getting the recognition we deserve and of course we do that in marriage we're always keeping score in marriage are we not that's a kind of rivalry keeping score like okay here's how much I've served you how much have you served me here's how many wrongs you've done to me this is my scorecard it's it's rivalry or do nothing from rivalry or next word conceits conceit is actually not a great translation there this is one of the places where the old king jimmy gets it right all right the old king james word if you got one of those says do nothing from rivalry or vainglory that is a literal transliteration of the greek word kenodoxia useless glory do nothing out of this useless sense that you need to get glory or recognition from your in our case spouse do nothing out of rivalry or conceit but in humility count others more significant than yourselves humility what do you deserve what do you deserve hell that's right so write this down especially if you're married write this down because I want you to think about it throughout this week right i am unworthy of any of the love that my spouse gives to me i am unworthy of any of the love that my spouse gives to me i'm not saying they're not wrong for not giving it to you i'm just saying that when it comes to your understanding of what you deserve you understand that what you deserve is hell and anything beyond that is grace you're not going to hear that on oprah but this is the foundation of joy in christian marriage right there it when in humility you realize how much of your life is grace then you start to think less about what you deserve and you start to count the needs of others to be more significant than yourselves why why because that's what christ did for you christ who was worthy became sin for you so that you could be saved and just like he gave you what you did not deserve you begin to give to others what they did not deserve so you count them to be more significant than you not because they are more significant than you but because that's how christ treated you who was significant and treated you the insignificant is significant so now you treat people who are equally significant to you as more significant this is summit life with pastor jd greer to learn more about this ministry visit us at jdgrier.com the bible offers us hope providing us with principles that apply not only to marriage but also to every relationship that we have we hope that what you're learning here on the program can be applied no matter what your life circumstance might be this month we want to equip you to care well for the people in your life whether it's someone who lives in your house or someone you work with or even a long lost friend our newest resource is a pack of encouraging greeting cards next month is thanksgiving and it's the perfect time to reach out to someone let them know that you're thankful for them or maybe even take the first step at mending a broken relationship we'd love for you to reserve this boxed set of 20 cards today with your gift to the ministry give us a call at 866-335-5220 or visit us online at jdgrier.com verse four let each of you look not only to his own interest but also to the interest of others again why why because of christ verse one so if there is any encouragement in christ any comfort from his love any participation in the spirit that he gave to you any affection and sympathy in jesus are there those things in christ yes so if there is any then verse five have this mind among yourselves which was yours in christ jesus think about what christ was for you we've been around our church you heard me recount that the first couple years of my marriage were pretty rough and after the second year we went to see a counselor my wife and i and we sat there and we began to rehearse before that counselor all the ways that that she had disappointed me and she was telling him all the ways that i disappointed her never forget how the counselor looked at me and just dropped something that was like a bombshell on me he said the reason that you guys have such a hard time with each other is because evidently neither of you has any concept of how much god has forgiven you of and he taught me a little phrase that i've taught to you a bazillion times and will probably repeat it another bazillion times and that is first sinner second sinned against in my marriage i am first sinner and i'm second sinned against which means that i will never be asked to forgive veronica of anything that compares to what god has forgiven me of and when i have my mind around how great the grace god that how great is the grace that god has shown me then forgiving my wife becomes actually very easy to me because i realize how much i've been forgiven of sinner first first sinner second sent against let me give you a variation of that phrase that i think paul's going after here first served second serve it first served second servants on the last night of his life on earth jesus got his disciples together and pulled out a wash basin and a towel and started to wash their dirty grimy feet that was the role of a servant and then he said to them this is the role that i your lord and master i'm taking with you if i'm that way with you then this is the attitude you should have with each other wash each other's feet jesus who had the highest place in the universe voluntarily took the lower place and it wouldn't stop there of course he would go on to bear in his body the price for their sins and to be punished for them and when you see that when you really see that that the lord of the universe became a servant for you that changes your posture in marriage and you'll begin to assume that with your spouse give you a really good definition of christian marriage i think here we go christian marriage recognizing the unmerited favor god has shown to you in christ and showing that same type of unmerited favor to your spouse let me say that again christian marriage is recognizing the unmerited favor that god has shown to you in christ and showing that same type of unmerited favor to your spouse you say well my spouse doesn't deserve my service of course they don't that's the point you didn't deserve it from christ either notice verse 3 do you see that the word count count count is the same kind of word paul uses when he talks about how god sees us in christ god sees us in christ as righteous even though in reality we're not righteous he reckons us as righteous he's saying i want you to count them i want you to reckon them more significant than you not because in reality they are more worthy and significant than you but because that's how christ treated you you say well if i serve them though they'll just take advantage of me so you're secure enough in christ to have somebody take advantage of you from time to time jesus was about to wash judas's feet judas who was going to betray him you said no no wait a minute though if i don't punish them then they'll never change that's how the world thinks but that's not how jesus thinks how did jesus change us did he change us by punishing us for our sin thank god no jesus changed us by giving us grace when we deserve punishment the world thinks in fact you ought to write this down too i'm giving you a lot to write down at the beginning here the world says you change through punishment god says you change through grace the world says you change through punishment god says you change through unmerited favor the way that god changed you becomes the very way that you begin to serve and change your spouse man it's exactly what paul meant when he said that you wash your wash your wives with the water of the word is you wash them with forgiveness because that is what makes them clean in god's sight do you understand what i mean by that so what does this like look like in action what's this actually look like in action in marriage how do we verse four look not only to our own interest but also to the interest of others in marriage i'm going to give you three things that i believe we serve one another in in marriage they are number one the roles that we play with each other then secondly i'm going to talk about how we love one another on their terms and then third i'm going to talk about sex you ready we serve our spouse number one in playing the role that god has given us to play in marriage we serve our spouse by playing the role that god has given us to play in marriage husbands and wives are given roles in marriage that are supposed to serve one another two words to remember you ready husbands serve wives submit it is a mutually serving relationship this is all outlined in ephesians 5 22 verse 33 paul says ephesians 5 25 husbands love your wives like christ loved the church verse 24 to the wives now as the church submits to christ so wives should submit to their husbands and everything so which one you want to talk about first everybody turn to the neighbor and say i'm thankful for a pastor who's not afraid to teach us the parts of the word of god that are unpopular if you don't say that at least think that okay i'm saying this because i love you guys this does not grow our church right here i'm just telling you this because i think this is very important let's let's do the wise first okay and just hang on if you disagree with me on this just hang on at least let me get through this and just hang on because we're coming to sex okay so just hang on to that one here's what we do first wives submit submit is actually a very strong word in greek it's actually a military term in marriage it means that god has given the man the point position the responsibility for the direction and the spiritual protection of the family guys this is an enormous weight my wife always says that she feels like she got the easy part which i would tend to agree with her because you know who had the easier role the disciples or christ i say the disciples did because christ was going to die for their sins that's what his service of them was going to be like guys i'm going to show you this more in a minute but this is never a license to dominate your wife or do whatever you want to do in fact i would say it like this it's not a license to do what you want to do it's empowerment to do what you ought to do but girls what this means is that when a decision is supposed to be made he's been given the call on making it you say well i don't agree with that he's not smarter than me he's not wiser than me i didn't say that quit putting words in my mouth all right this is just the way that you serve god and serve him in the relationship i'm gonna come back to that in a second but let's let's do the guys first okay dudes love your wives like christ love the church which means you serve them like christ served the church christ was not out bossing the church around asking where his dinner was and making them rub his feet and leave him alone on the night before he died he was washing their feet talk about having a big day ahead of him you feel like if there were ever a time when you could excuse taking a night off it's like hey i gotta die for the sins of the world tomorrow i feel like i deserve a night off before i go die for the sins of the world but no even in that hour he was washing their feet c.s lewis said that the crown that men wear in a relationship is first and foremost a crown of thorns let me make this really practical for you guys my wife is supposed to submit to me yes but my leadership of her is supposed to be service to her which means that i need to lose about 90 percent of the fights that we have which i do okay that means that she gets she chooses colors she chooses styles she chooses cars movies we go to restaurants we frequent because my leadership of her is service to her now the scriptures say that when some decision needs to be made and we can't come to consensus that then the burden lies on me to make the call about what i think is best for the family and that she needs to submit to me in that yeah there are some times that i say to her yes honey i love you yes i understand that yes i'm concerned about that too but i just really feel like this is the direction that we need to go and guys i'll tell you this i make it much easier for her to follow me in that 10 if she sees me serving her in the other 90 so it's not licensed to do what you want to do it's empowerment to do what you ought to do now some of you say well i just don't agree with that well humbly speaking you need to decide who is lord in your life if your attitude toward the bible is that you take the parts of the bible that you like and you leave the parts that you don't then you might really need to consider who is really in charge for some of you your problem in this has less to do with submitting to marriage and more to do with submitting to jesus which is why you feel the freedom to take the parts of his word that you like and discard the parts that you don't if that's your attitude toward the bible then jesus might be your advisor but he is certainly not your lord you say well why why can't we work on the principle of consensus yes of course guys you should work on the principle of consensus if you make decisions without the full counsel of your wife then you are a moron rarely do i go against my wife's counsel it is only when i feel restrained by conscience or conviction that i go against her but girls it is not submission when you only follow him when you're in full agreement that's not submission that's agreement submission implies disagreement calling husbands and wives to selfless service by doing what we ought to do you're listening to summit life with jd greer if you happen to miss any part of today's message you can hear it again online at jdgrier.com jd our current study includes some topics that i not only need to hear but i'm actually looking forward to passing along to other people as well tell us about this teaching series that you've titled home wreckers now what we're trying to do is take a look at the things that corrode our relationships and destroy our homes i mean sadly molly i'll say this i know you well enough that this is probably true of you too it's in our families where sin and selfishness become the clearest sure and where we have the capacity to do a lot of damage ironically to the people that we love the most yeah yeah the bible offers us hope in this and it shows us how our marriages and our families whether we're single or in a large family that we really can experience the beauty of christ in our homes our homes can be laboratories that help us love jesus better and and help us make the people that we love love jesus better so this month we want to equip you to to care well for people in your life it's a it's a pack of of really encouraging greeting cards you know thanksgiving is a great time to reach out to somebody reconnect with somebody and maybe even indicate to them what's going on in your life maybe invite them to listen to this this radio show or podcast and talk about maybe other things that have really benefited you so maybe right now you're listening and you're like i know exactly who this is yeah listen we'd love to be a it's an honor to be a part of your life and to help that so take a look at jdgrayer.com thank you jd we'd love to send you this box set of 20 cards when you donate to support this ministry or when you become a monthly gospel partner your generous gift goes a long way in helping us bring gospel-centered bible teaching to the radio and web without cost becoming a barrier to anyone who wants access so join this mission today and give by calling 866-335-5220 or give online at jdgrayer.com i'm your host molly vidovich and we're so glad that you joined us this week be sure to listen again next week when pastor jd continues describing the important bowl of selfless sacrifice in marriage until then have a great weekend and we'll see you here next time for summit life with jd greer today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-15 09:19:22 / 2022-11-15 09:30:42 / 11

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