About the Author

Kristin Vanderlip is a contemplative soul, veteran military spouse, bereaved mom to her little girl in heaven, mom to two growing boys, and author of the Life Worth Living Journal. She writes to help women draw near to God and persevere in Hope. Kristin and her family currently call California’s...

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  1. Kristin,
    I commend you for being willing to take a long, hard look at yourself. Few people are willing to do this because, quite frankly, it’s much easier to point the blame somewhere else or on someone else. God calls us to have a contrite heart and to walk humbly with Him. This can be easier said than done. The enemy loves when we feed our insecurities by focusing only on ourselves because when we focus only on ourselves, we isolate ourselves and are sitting prey for him to attack. He loves to isolate and destroy. Focusing on others outside ourselves leads to relationships and as you so poignantly pointed out, that’s where life is found. Thank you for being willing to be so honest with your journey and discoveries.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev,

      You are so welcome, and I am so honored to share my journey and that this spoke to you. Thank you for your kind words and your words that are so full of wisdom. As you said, examining our own lives and hearts IS hard work. I am as guilty as everyone to want to first point the finger. Blame is easier. Excuses are easier. Self-examination. Pruning from the Lord. Is harder. Painful even. But when He shows us what needs changing for the abundant life, it is so worth it. And when we can be alert to the enemy’s tactics, we will find more victories in Jesus! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  2. Good for you, Kristin! It would have been easy to miss the blessing behind that well meant card. I’m afraid that I also let my insecurity stand in the way of relationship — and my driven do-list following. Thanks for this call to a heart-check — and for sharing your story here.

    • Thank you for your comment Michele. You are so right, that it would have been so easy to miss the blessing. So often in the past I think I would have missed the blessing in this card and this moment. But I am so thankful to God that He is completing His good work in me and transforming my heart and mind so that I am not missing these moments. And you are not alone, by nature my first tendencies are to jump to insecurities and be filled with negative thinking; I think this is a common struggle for us all. Heart checks can sometimes hurt because often we don’t like what we see when we take an honest look at ourselves – but when we check our hearts and let God use what we see to transform us, that is where the good stuff comes. The enemy can no longer succeed. We find freedom. And we can better love the Lord and others.

      God bless!
      Kristin

    • Thank you Joy! I am so thankful the Lord spoke this truth to my heart and you and others are seeing the truth in it and finding it encouraging and relevant! So glad this spoke to you!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  3. “It was like a secret I didn’t know I held — maybe that’s because I was too busy thinking about myself to realize that thinking about myself is the very essence of being selfish.” – I loved this part of your testimony! It rang so true to me… You have an amazing friend who was willing to put the friendship on the line to deliver you that message. What a keeper! Too often we are wrapped up in not offending to speak truth. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you Candance! I am so glad my words resonated with you. And yes I am so thankful for this woman in my life. She speaks such truth in such a loving and encouraging way. I can only hope to do the same! It is so hard though – to be the giver and receiver of such words, but when we see God’s love in them, to be part of it, is such a blessing.

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  4. This really spoke to me. I’m going into a weekend of spending time with people I don’t know very well, and my insecurities are abundant! Thank you so much for this.

    • JK, I am thanking God that these words spoke to you. What perfect timing for you to read them as you head into your weekend! I hope God uses them to quiet your insecurities and build new relationships!! Praying for you to see God at work! (Let me know how it goes!)

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  5. I went to a Beth Moore conference a few years back & as we arrived there was a Bible on each seat with a specific verse written for each one of us. Those verses were the ones in my seat & my first reaction was very similar to yours. I wanted to change seats or at least hide my verse because I did not consider myself a selfish person. Then I decided to make the conference about the women I was with…I had the best weekend. As I’ve been reminded again & again of that verse, the Lord has shown me how easily I slip into selfishness & how many excuses I have to justify that. So thankful that JESUS takes the time to keep changing me & growing me. Thanks for sharing your story & reminding me again. <3

    • Jacci this is amazing! Literally just gave me goosebumps! Wow what an incredible experience and so neat that we experienced something so similar. Isn’t it amazing how “scary” verses like this can seem yet when we embrace them with loving truth and open our eyes to others how much better life is?! I too am so thankful that Jesus never stops investing in transforming us!

      Love to you,
      Kristin

  6. Wow, this article really hit home. I tell my husband how I have a hard time talking to others. In the back of my mind, insecurity makes me question why they would even talk to me. I usually feel more comfortable serving. Thank you for pointing this out. Knowing that my problem may be more because of selfishness, I have something to work on. Focus on the interest of others.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that Michelle. I completely understand where you are coming from. I am an introvert by nature but I’m slowly learning how I let that hinder me in ways God did not intend. I can be an introvert who is not insecure and who is confident in the Lord. I can be an introvert who finds rest and is energized from moments alone, and still engage with others and love others. Working on this idea of selfishness hinder relationships is hard but worthy work. Praying for those of us who need transformation in this way!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  7. Thank you for the candor and honesty and instruction! The Lord used you to speak to my heart so strongly this morning.

  8. Kristin,
    God used you to speak to me. This was exactly what I needed to hear. God has been speaking to me about this issue in many different ways this summer. Your words putt it in a way I could really understand. This verse in Philippians has pierced my heart for a while. Thank you for being vulnerable and honest. God bless you and your relationships. I believe God will use this to break a stronghold of selfishness in my life. Ellyce

    • ekorber, Honesty and vulnerability can be such hard things, but God always blesses our obedience when he asks to us to be those things and that is another thing I am learning this year! I love when God tries to speak to us and uses a variety of means to make his message clear – and over time (He is so patient with us!). When you finally get the message in the way that you need to hear it, what an incredible “rhema” moment! I am glad my words were this for you this morning. And like you said, when we become aware of our strongholds then we can start taking them down and seeing victory in Jesus working. Selfishness is a stronghold for us all, we are sinful, selfish people from the fall – it just manifests itself differently in each of us! So thankful to read about God’s work in your life and praying as you work through breaking down this stronghold in you life!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  9. Yes, this resonates within me as something I fall prey to regularly. Thanks for sharing and showing me my own selfishness. Now I pray that I can put this into practice, and I’m praying for you, as well.

    • Oh Cyndi isn’t it is such a hard thing to hold the mirror to ourselves and see sin like selfishness looking back at us? It can make us want to run because we don’t like what we see and not change. But when we can become aware of how selfishness or other things come through in our hearts, and see how the enemy lays them as a trap for us all to fall prey to, then we can overcome and be transformed. Thank you for your prayers and I will be praying for you too!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  10. This was amazingly written. I am sure you were in my head and thoughts as I struggle with this almost daily. Thank you for being willing to be venerable in order to help others like “us”.

    • Thank you Janet. It’s a continual daily struggle with me as well even now. But I am thankful to be on alert and take my thoughts captive when they come. I want to choose the ways of Jesus over myself any day. It can be a hard path but with good reward.

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  11. Thank you Kristin for your openness and honesty. I’m ashamed to say at my age (52) I’m still far too concerned with what others think about me …..or what I think they think about me 😉 Today I realize how selfish this is. I have felt the pain of isolation and not fitting in. Today I realize it’s my selfishness that isolates me. Thank you for sharing and helping me focus on God and others rather than elevating myself by consuming thoughts of ‘me’. I’m excited for “connections to be made, friendships to form, love pouring out and a life more abundant” as I put Philippians 2:3-4 into practice.

    • Irene thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. What a revelation that our selfishness isolates us, isn’t it? It’s a sneaky tactic of our enemy to keep us from the good God has in store for us. This is why he calls us to bring everything into the light. The enemy wants to isolate us because he knows we are easier targets. When we come forth from the darkness of whatever is making us feel alone and separate ourselves from others and then ask the one who is Light to transform us, he will. I am so thankful that my sharing this has encouraged you to put this truth into practice! Praying for you as you do!
      Blessings,
      Kristin

  12. I went to bed crying last night….just struggling through in my marriage (32yrs)— this is not what I wanted our marriage to look like. This message was right on for me…convicting, but right on. Thanks for sharing, God knew I would read it this morning and it would shed some light in my life.

    • Oh Patricia my heart just wants to give yours a giant hug. I am praying for healing in your marriage of 32 years (Wow! What an accomplishment!). I’m thankful God was able to use this to shine some of His light into your life and praying your conviction helps bring healing and change where you and your marriage need it. Sometimes messages like this are so hard to receive, but we need to hear. Can I encourage you to keep pressing on? If selfishness is affecting your marriage, like it is mine, I’m praying you will be alert when it tries to rear it’s ugly head and be able to humbly lay yourself down and love your spouse. It can be so so hard — especially becase not only are we sinners, but our spouses are as well. I have only been married for 9 years, but almost every step of the way has been a struggle for my husband and I, but we keep holding on by the grace of God. And can I confess something to you? I went to bed in tears last night as well. The enemy sought to divide and conquer my husband and I last night, and he had some success. I went to be focused entirely on my own hurts. I needed to read my own words again this morning to be reminded of God’s truth. Can I leave you with another verse this morning? One that God is whispering to my heart as I try to rid myself of selfishness in my marriage especially, I hope it will bring encouragement to you: “She confidently trusts the Lord to take care of her.” Pslam 112:7. We can rid ourselves of selfish thinking, whatever kind or form, and serve and love others when we believe and trust that the Lord is going to take care of us. Praying for you today!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

      • I’m just now seeing this….thank you for responding. Today has been a much better day….I will not let satan rob me of joy in relationships. I will trust in the Lord, He cares for me!!

        blessings to you,
        Patricia

    • Patricia,

      Praying for you now! May God restore the marriage and bring about peace to your weary soul!! So glad God led you to this post and shed light in your dark world. May the light stay there continually!

      Blessings 🙂

  13. You’ve got me thinking this morning. I think I’m pretty selfless even giving up thing I shouldn’t have, but then, am I struggling with the selfishness of what people think if say no or disagree with them. I tried t do this and back off certain situations, but end up involved again and frustrated. Since you’re a military wife, let’s say my chain of command seems to be out of whack, I feel like I’m following Jesus, but where’s everybody else? P.S. I don’t do early morning workouts, even though I used to. 🙂

    • Rebecca, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’ve got me thinking today too! And this may not been what you had intended, but it’s got me thinking that it’s important to distinguish the difference between selfishness and self-care and walking out God’s purpose for your life (what to pick up and put down and how others see us and how we interact with them). First I’m so glad you’re following after Jesus, and just keep looking to Him and He will guide you — you’ve got the right Commander! 😉 He will lead you to people to love and serve. And saying no and disagreeing can be so hard but sometimes good and necessary – and can be you establishing boundaries which are healthy. Are you finding your worth and approval in others or God? If you focus on God’s approval and you’re doing what He’s asked of you, then find peace in that. Ask for clarity on what He wants you to give up and be selfless with and what He wants you to pick up. Doing things for yourself, like morning workouts, can be good! Sometimes, at this stage in my life where I stay at home with a toddler and preschooler – I need 5 minutes me time when my husband gets home at the end of the day, and this is part of self-care because I need a minute to rest and abide with Jesus otherwise I’ll be empty and an ugly wife and mommy. Jesus snuck away, He took time to himself. There is a balance between self-care and being selfish and it’s interested how it affects our identities and how the approval of others sneaks into that too. I think this is definitely something to seek further wisdom on and pray over! I may strike up a new post about this! Good thinking!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  14. Thank you for sharing your heart. I relate to everything you wrote. I’m realizing that fear in my life also makes me selfish and prevents me from branching out and being a friend in the way God wants me to. A great friend told me about fear, that sometimes we just need to get over ourselves. She was so right! Sometimes I need to get over myself and trust God by looking past my own insecurity and fear.

    • Valerie thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. What an idea of how fear has a role to play in this! I had not thought about how intertwined fear can be with selfishness and insecurities and what not and I think you are right on! What a revelation. And we know fear is definitely not of God! We do need to just lay ourselves down, look past ourselves, and look to Jesus… Or maybe even just start looking at ourselves how God sees us! Yes he sees the sins, but when he convicts us of them and we become aware and want to run away from that and repent, we can see ourselves how he sees us. He is teaching me so much about where my confidence comes from this year. When we find our identities in Him and believe what the scriptures teach us about how he sees and loves us, we can become so empowered and confident and kiss insecurity and fears ba-bye! Thank you so much for giving ME extra to think about! I may have to do a follow up post on this!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  15. So good, Kristin! I see me in this post. I came to terms over the last few years, that being prideful and selfish doesn’t always look like we think it looks. We’d never label ourselves with those adjectives, yet when we examine our motives and our heart, it’s a powerful wow moment of clarity. Thank you again for sharing this with us. Now I will share this with others 🙂

    • Thank you Doris! I love what you’ve been learning. Yes such a “powerful wow moment of clarity” – don’t you love those?! So convicting and hard sometimes, but such a refreshing breath. Thank you for taking this lesson we’re learning and sharing it further! Such a good one we can all stand to learn in some way or another, and when we do, seriously, so freeing and really truly: “Connections could be made. Friendships could form. Love could pour out. Life would be more abundant.”

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  16. Kristin, I praise the Lord for these grace-filled words that speak to my heart. Thank you for this vulnerability, honesty, and insight-for the courage to share. This verse has been coming up, so I need to listen to what the Lord is telling me that I need to see-the “secrets” and perspectives that I need to see and be changed in His love so He can lead me to freedom 🙂 I am so grateful for His tender love in these words that you shared 🙂 May He all lead us to freedom through the hard work of change that leads to the joy set before us 🙂

    • Hi An! Thank you for your sweet, sweet words. I am so blessed to share this with you and others. It’s a wonderful thing to bring things like this to light so we can all learn and have freedom and abundance in our lives. God has convicted me and shown me this, it’s been quite a long process, and while I’m alert and seeking transformation, it continues to be something I battle with and even needed to reread my own words today! And I am praying the same thing: “May He lead us to freedom through the hard work of change that leads to the joy set before us!” Amen sister!

      Blessings to you,
      Kristin

  17. Oh, friend, I have been there. I have learned those dirty secrets about myself too. I feel your pain and stand beside you saying – you’re not alone. Bravo for opening your eyes, being willing to see yourself, and also being willing to place yourself in the grace of God’s hands and takes steps forward.

    • Thank you Meredith – I am so thankful God gave us community to come alongside of each other, especially as we do the not so pretty work that the enemy can intend to use to isolate us!

    • Thank you for commenting Pearl! Yes the pain of conviction! The truth can hurt – but yes your Hope is right and He uses it to heal! Love your words “God wouldn’t reveal the ugly if he didn’t have plans to transform it.”

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  18. Kristin,

    God bless you for your honesty and openness. Admitting our own guilt is super hard. Playing the blame game is easy! Being an introvert and a little shy makes it hard to open up to people. I am usually the wallflower. that is, until I get to know you. I try always to humble myself and talk to newcomers at our church or residents at the assisted living where my dad lives. I know the feeing of being the newbie and feeling forgotten, especially older people. May God bless you!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Beth thank you for sharing this! I learned this summer that I am a highly functioning introvert 😛 and shy by nature – like you though – once I am able to know someone it’s so much easier. Like you we have to position ourselves as believers to take a step of bravery and discomfort even and step forward to reach into the lives of others!

      Blessings to you too,
      Kristin

  19. I have learnt.I am looking inside me and realizing selfish trends.God is helping me deal with these trends.Thanks Kristin

  20. Thank you Kristin..what a critical reminder. I needed that. Insecurities driven selflessness have often gotten in the way of blessings…the treasure of being blessed by God through others and also, the privilege of blessing others in return.

    Your replies to so many posts Kristin is a faboulous example to me, of your selflessness, to share and encourage and bless.

    Thank you sis.
    Annetta

    • Annetta, thank you so much for your comment and kind words! Isn’t it so freeing to become aware of these things that can keep us from experiencing God’s blessings so that we can start experiencing them?!

      Blessings to you,
      Kristin

  21. So interesting to think of selfishness this way, as being so insecure or caught up in our thoughts that we don’t think of how we can serve others or be there for others. I wonder about the implications for people who consider themselves introverts….?

    I have to say, this verse seems to have tripped me up in life. I feel my parents over-used it on me, so to speak. Everyone else came before I did. Other people should be first in line. I should ask for nothing — if I did, my father made me feel ashamed. If someone made a claim against me, I was sure to be the one to blame — even if indirectly. My parents did things for others before our family and took this verse quite literally to the nth extent. I think this led to my stepmother being a constant people pleaser to the point that our family was neglected. And today as an adult, I feel I have so little confidence that I’m constantly second-guessing myself and questioning my worth. There must be some “happy medium” in this verse or in the context of the surrounding Scripture?

    • D.,

      I’m an introvert for sure but have learned to embrace it (most of my life, I felt put down for it). I live in my head a lot and I really appreciate Kristin’s thoughts here. Jesus made me this way for a reason, but doesn’t want me enmeshed with myself. It’s still a struggle for me after many years as a pastor’s wife.

      I can see where you’re coming from with how this Scripture verse was used in your family, with good intentions. It was used so often, it’s lost its meaning. Praying Jesus will speak it freshly into your life.

      It concerns me how people will use (or mis-use, really) Scriptures to communicate something they are afraid to say, you know? Perhaps the person sent it to Kristin because she was upset Kristin didn’t say hello at an event or forgot to return her book or something like that. That is why I posted below asking Kristin if she had asked the sender why they sent that particular verse. It seemed intentionally cryptic of the person. I guess I’m overly sensitive as a pastor’s wife for being criticized for not doing enough or being enough or giving enough.

      • Lou, Thanks for following up and adding to the discussion. Our culture does seem to cater to extroverts. And you are absolutely right, Jesus made us as introverts and extroverts and to various degrees of each. So yes, we should be unashamed for our introverted-ness. We just have to be careful to not let it become an excuse to let selfishness creep in – as it did in my life. It’s not to say every introvert thinks or behaves like me, but I gather I am not alone in this! I think prayers for a fresh take on this scripture is wise advice. And I’ll reply to your comment separately below it!

    • D, Thank yo so much for sharing your thoughts! Of course everyone’s comments and my own continuing transformation and conversations with God are asking the same thing – What are the implications for introverts? And I think I am going to write a follow up post on how God is answering this question in my life. I am a highly functioning introvert. (I discovered this about myself this summer after all of these years of living this way). Introverts find themselves feeling restful and recharged when they have time to themselves. God created some of us this way. But he calls all of us to love and serve others and calls all of us into community. An honest personal examination of my own life has shown me that I have walked around using my introverted nature as an excuse to not interact with other people whom God was calling me to. Jesus found himself seeking time to himself often – to be with the Father. He would withdraw from the crowds. He needed time alone to seek God and rest and recharge himself. Yet he still went to people. Part of obeying God’s call for our lives can take us out of our comfort zones and make us uncomfortable. For introverts sometimes relationships call us to experience a little discomfort. And that’s okay. We can be introverted and find ways to live out this verse – and it doesn’t mean having to be the life of the party in a social setting or becoming a social butterfly. It may just mean being the first to initiate a conversation with a new person in your life when you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you there.

      I am so sorry to hear that situations in your life may have used this verse in that way to you. Scripture should never be used to shame us – that is the enemy. God will use it to convict us to change us. But that shame is not from the Father. There is a hierarchy of priority in terms of relationships in our lives I believe the scripture lays out. Our relationship with God and our obedience to Him is of course first and permeates every other relationship in our lives. Marriage next, children next, and so on. We are called to humble ourselves and love others – but scripture does not call us to neglect those God has placed in the most intimate relationships in our lives. I think you could always tell that perhaps scripture wasn’t being lived out as God intended in your life and perhaps even being twisted at times. We can humble ourselves but still find tremendous worth and confidence in the LORD. This really is prompting me to write more on this cause I could go on and on! The happy medium you speak of us having a more complete Biblical perspective on the life God intends for us to live. To look like Jesus.

      Friend, God calls us to lay down our lives to follow Him, to humble ourselves, out of selfishness, but do not let those scriptures be twisted. You have tremendous worth, you are invaluable to our King, your are His child. I encourage you to study your Bible to find out who God says you are as His child. I encourage you to think about and pray about this! We are to look like Jesus – how did he lives this out? How did he rid himself of selfishness? How did he humble himself? Who did God create us to be? How does God see you? I think when you take time to wrestle with God and seek Him in these answers you fill find the “happy medium” – or maybe the truth in how to live out this verse and others.

      Thank you so much for sharing this!
      Blessings,
      Kristin

  22. “I become my focus. My insecurity makes it all about me, which means if it’s all about me, it’s not about them.”

    I love this post. It is so authentic and I thank you for it. Gosh, that above statement struck home. I don’t know how to stop focusing on my own insecurities most days. It always takes a nice quiet time with Jesus for me to realize just how evident my self-focus is. That scripture has reached out and shook me many times. Sometimes I want to skip that whole book so I can avoid its gaze! But God placed it there for us and as hard as it is to read, when I put away the very selfishness it speaks to, I am able to rise above. This post was such a great reminder of how we can grow and change to His glory when we look past those sneaky, self-doubting emotions of ours and see the clear path Jesus is calling us to take. How rewarding it truly is when we take our eyes off of us and look at Him. Thank you again for this!

    • Kristy, I love you! I say this all the time to you but I am so thankful God placed you in my life. You are such a wise woman who speaks truth in love so naturally and genuinely. And thank you for adding your thoughts here!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this. It so spoke to my heart. I had to look at my heart and I now know why I have problems with making close relationships with others. I had asked the Lord to give me a close friend and to show me how to do it. When I read this, it was as though this was my answer. Your thoughts of yourself while being in the room with others was to the letter exactly what I do. It is time for my heart to change. I need to think of others and their needs and to help them feel I care about them. I also need to spend some time in prayer with God to have a ready heart so this will happen. Again, thank you so very much, Kristin, for sharing this. It was so what I needed. Love in Christ, LaNita

    • LaNita, Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share this with me/us. What an amazing blessing for me to be a part of an answer to God’s prayer in your life! I am so thankful Jesus used my words to speak to you. Heart change can be so hard and I am so glad you have been given eyes to see it and see the reward in this! You are so right – this cannot happen apart from Jesus! Praying with you!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  24. Great article. So easy to think more of ourselves than others. Yet who want’s to think themself selfish. Not me, and yet I am. Recently I have been working on reaching out more to friends, instead of waiting for them to initiate something. Overcoming selfishness will be something I will be working on all my life.

    • Theresa, Thank you for your thoughts! You are so right – no one wants to think of themselves as selfish – but aren’t we all in different ways? Overcoming selfishness is definitely a transformation that takes time and I am so thankful that God is patient with us and walks us along the path to freedom from it. We are all works in progress and God will see his good work in us through to completion. I want to praise you for taking the steps of initiative – it sure requires an act of faith and bravery! Praying for you as you seek to release yourself from however selfishness is manifesting itself in your life!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  25. Kristin,

    Thanks for this wonderful post. Did you ask the friend who sent you the Scripture verse why she sent you that particular verse? I think my concern would be that I had hurt her somehow. And just out of curiosity!

    I’m impressed that you softened your heart to consider what this Scripture might mean for you, especially without really knowing the meaning the sender had attributed to it.

    • Hi Lou,
      I was wondering when someone would ask that – lol! I finally just asked her TODAY! Can you believe it? Confession: I am also an avoider of confrontation – good or bad. But God is working with me on that too! Honestly though I felt God prompting me to hear from Him directly on this one and He has been faithful to answer me. I believe my friend was being used an instrument of the Holy Spirit when she sent this to me. Whether it came from a specific hurt or incident or she just had a leading that this was me, it wasn’t important for me to know at the time (and if it needed addressing from her to me for forgiveness etc I believe she would have come to me) because the end message was the same regardless for me I believe. I did ask though and if I think it will bring God glory in sharing and feel prompted to do so I will add a new comment! And the only reason I had a softened heart to hear was 100% through Jesus’ work in me. So thanks be to God for that!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

      • Thanks for sharing, Kristin. I was thinking about your post today and thought about an area in which I’m selfish is my self-absorption with my own issues and assuming every one is just fine. Example: was at a church listening to a pastor; he was talking about golf, travel, etc. My thought was “wow, he’s got it great; we’re living on such a tight budget we can’t breathe.”

        His next sentence was about his son’s 8th brain cancer surgery. I felt like a worm and just ashamed of my thoughts.

        Thanks again for your post!!

      • Kristin I love how you share from your heart what so many of of live, but haven’t taken the time to verbalize, or perhaps even recognize. Thank you for shedding light on this idea of selfishnes and vain conceit. It’s a life-giving truth too easy to miss.

        • Thank you Joy! It is so easy to miss and so uncomfortable and challenging to address for sure. I’m so thankful to be able to share this and hope to encourage others through something like this that plagues us all!

          Blessings,
          Kristin

  26. Wow! I needed to hear this. I have been feeling very insecure in my friendships lately feeling like the boring friend who has little to offer. Wondering if others feel the same way. But my perspective is all wrong. I need to write that verse down and hang it by my bed or desk! Thank you for being vulnerable and opening your heart to us!

    • Allison, thank you so much for sharing how this post impacted you. I am so sorry you have been feeling that way – insecurity likes to bring us all down in different ways – I’m glad that looking at life from a new lens can offer you some fresh encouragement. You certainly have incredible worth and much to offer to the people you encounter in your life! Praying Jesus fills your thought life with encouraging truth as you think about this and kick insecurity to the curb. He will fill you with good things to pour out into your friendships!

      Blessings,
      Kristin

  27. I received this email a few days ago and barely skimmed the opening. It took me another day or so before I read the whole thing and … wow, that was written for me! I don’t feel the selfishness in being an introvert but more a few struggles in my marriage. I have been pointing fingers lately and I am called to look in the mirror. Maybe my perspective is not what it should be. I think maybe I have acted more selfish than serving to my husband. A lot of hurt going on between us. Many prayers said and many tears shed. I must continue to read scripture and learn what Gods path is for us. Thank you for sharing.

    • Terri, I’m so glad you took the time to go back to your email and read! I’m sorry to hear of your marital struggles – I am praying for healing over your marriage – as one who has been there and is there too. Praying God uses this to teach us and help use it for healing and restoration. You’re on the right path to keep in his word – and he will guide your path. He promises too. Blessings to you! Kristin

  28. Thank you. God through you allowed me to see myself in a way that one close to me, hurtfully told me I was selfish. I didn’t understand and also questioned my insecurities. Your words however helped. I’m in a different place now and God has allowed and is allowing me to discover more of who I am in Him. I’m grateful and am coming out of insecurity!

    • SC, This is such a hard truth to share and be honest about and I applaud you for sharing your comments and am so grateful you found a way to apply it to yourself in a loving way. I am praising the Lord that he has brought you to a place where He has you discovering more of who you are in Him! I’m so glad I read your comment today because I am actually drafting a blog post currently about this very thing! Blessings, Kristin

    • Hmm. I wouldn’t consider this behavior selfish. My husband is extremely introverted and very shy. He is not at all selfish, however. I, on the other hand, am introverted but do very well talking to others. I would certainly say I am more selfish than my husband!

      Let’s be honest- we are going to think about ourselves more than other people. We live in our bodies. We are constantly with ourselves. There is a big difference between thinking about ourselves and what we think we could work on improving and being selfishly resistant to serving others. I am not saying you shouldn’t take each thought captive, but that is a different matter.

      I wish introverts didn’t feel guilt at the way God designed them. Being shy is not a character flaw! How do you know that those around you in those situations weren’t perfectly relieved that you allowed them to also be quiet? I thank God whenever I get to be around people like you who I don’t feel as if I have to make myself have a conversation with. Relationships come so much easier when things are not forced. It is refreshing to be with people who can just be still.

      • Hi Jordan, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and adding to this discussion. I would agree that being shy or introverted does not equate to selfishness. What I did discover, which is why I wrote this post, was how selfishness HID in those aspects of my personality. And also how the selfishness hiding behind my personality traits HINDERED me from seeking out friendships and taking opportunities to love others and become in community with them as Jesus calls his followers to. Indeed he created us each uniquely and there is no shame or guilt in that! You are right. For me, the Lord had me examine my heart to look at this in my life, and I did find selfishness hiding there and keeping me from things he has called me to. I’m not saying people who are shy or introverted should feel guilty for not acting extroverted in forming relationships, I was saying that it can prevent us from doing us. What loving others and seeking community looks like for introverts and extroverts looks differently, but we are both called to do those things. And you’re absolutely right, there is a time and there is room to be made for introverts to be themselves. But there is also times for them / us/ me to come forward and be part of something. And if it’s forced – that’s a signal something is not right. There needs to be a peace and a calling. It’s an intimate relationship with our Savior to know and act. For me, I felt Him give me a boldness, a confidence, and a call to step forward out of my comfort zones in a variety of settings and I wholeheartedly felt him calling me to stop thinking of myself (because that’s where my thoughts were) and he would draw me to someone or a group of people to invest in them. Jesus spoke to crowds. And he also spoke one on one. The introvert will often flourish and use their design best when they engage in these authentic one on one conversations. Totally agreed, relationships need not be forced and stillness and quietness is extremely important. I actually wrote two follow up blog posts to this one that I highly suggest you check you to see the further development of God’s work on this if you’re interested. I think it may help you understand more of where I am coming from. Again, I did not intend for this to come across as saying that introverts or individuals who are shy should feel flawed or guilty. I did intend to use it as a talking point to get us all thinking of how selfishness can be so sly and sneak into our lives in ways we may not see – a way to examine ourselves. Here’s my blog link if you would like to see some further thoughts of mine on this: http://www.anexpectantheart.com – the posts are “A Follow Up: Introverts, Insecurities, and Selfishness in Disguise” and “When Being Selfless Makes You Feel Like You Don’t Matter.” Hope you enjoy the reads! Blessings, Kristin

  29. Kristin,
    Thank you for your truthful and eye opening words. I do anything I can for those I love and feel the insecurity sink in when one of them calls me selfish. Until now I did not completely comprehend that there are parts in which I am hndeniably selfish. Thank you, truly thank you, because now I can begin to work on those parts of myself and spread the love, kindness and elevate others as God has intended for me.

    • Cecilia, Isn’t it hard to realize that no matter how much we try to serve and love others, our sinful natures remain selfish. I am grateful you can read these words and find encouragement to find those parts and work on them. I believe others see so much of God through you. 🙂 Blessings, Kristin

  30. Hey everyone,

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting! What a wonderful discussion and I so value everyone’s input. I wanted to share my blog link if you would like to see some further thoughts of mine on this topic: http://www.anexpectantheart.com – the posts are “A Follow Up: Introverts, Insecurities, and Selfishness in Disguise” and “When Being Selfless Makes You Feel Like You Don’t Matter.”

    Hope you enjoy the reads! Blessings, Kristin