While reading through question one of the “New City Catechism” Keller drops this little bomb from Calvin’s Institutes, “For, as consulting our self-interest is the pestilence that most effectively leads to our destruction…”
There is more, and you should no doubt get it and use it as a devotional tool IN ADDITION TO BIBLE READING NOT IN PLACE OF BIBLE READING, and you would benefit from it.
However, what stopped me in my proverbial tracks is the truth that my self-interest is a pestilence that leads to my destruction.
Don’t hear in that statement that self-care is a pestilence. Self-interest contextually is referring to sinful selfishness not the necessary self-care for mental, emotional and physical well-being.
Seeking my own self-interest without any care for the whole never has worked out for me. Either I’ll find myself isolated or in trouble or with a self-inflicted wound to my conscience.
One grand goal for myself in 2019 is to not poison myself by thinking of myself apart from my family and from my covenant fellowship. “What is good for the whole?” needs to be my first question.
As created in the image of Trinity, considering the whole is what we were created to do. Self-interest in the garden got Adam and Eve in a little bit of a mess, and it resulted in a mess for all of us. Had our first parents considered God first, the other next, then themselves they would have noticed that their personal good was found in God’s interests first. That would have led to considering the outcome of a self-interest move on the other, and that would have likely led to avoiding sin rather than running head long into death.
I want to learn to consider the whole first, and find my best in the family and the fellowship. Less self-inflicted wounds through less self-interest. There just may be supernatural power in finding my life in Christ and care for others first. I do believe that is how things work in the kingdom of God.