Our old life is full of selfishness. As we move into our new life following Christ we engage in new attributes and character which may go against our understanding and experience. We trust in the new way of life instead of the old. We resist the unproductive instinctual ways of selfishness.
Following Evil Desires
Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
Jude 1:16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
Characteristics of the old life
Spiritual destruction toward anxiety, fear, anger, loneliness, misery, depression, and emptiness.
Increased selfish behavior and building selfish pride, setting selfish goals, living for self
Holding grudges, Judging others, keeping secrets, hiding problems
Seeking materialistic things for enjoyment, avoiding Christian activities
Desiring money and worldly success more than being with God, grades are more important than God
Seeking superficial relationships, friends who will not interfere with selfish desires and activities
Dishonesty, deceiving others for selfish gain and pride
Repressing feelings, ignoring spiritual needs, avoiding intimacy
Gossiping about others, talking negatively about others, fault finding, character assassinating others
Excessive use of sarcasm especially at someone else’s expense, sarcasm used when someone is trying to be serious, afraid etc.
Thinking negatively about self or others, being pessimistic,
Believing that God won’t or can’t help Avoiding spiritual discussions
Playing a victim and avoiding responsibility for problems, choices, and actions
Avoiding people who care, they might try to correct our misguided selfish behavior
Increased worrying about what people think, finances, grades, responsibilities since they are being neglected
Increased dependency upon being successful and looking good for approval from others
Communicate with lies, manipulation, controlling the conversation, focus is on self, goal is to be understood
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We need to stop thinking for ourselves and learn what God wants us to do.
We are called to serve God as Jesus did. For most of us this kind of transformation requires a slow steady progressive change. Most of us understand we can't be like Jesus. We can, however, become more like Jesus and we expected to just that. We are instructed to apply every effort to serve God more and more. The goal is to begin changing and then keep it going. It begins with out thought life. Throughout the day we ought to be more aware of how we can build the unity of Christ. We ought to confess our fear, frustration, and disbelief with prayers of support, courage, and wisdom. We are to focus on what will improve everyone as a whole instead of how to make ourselves better. Below are some verses about selfishness and selfish ambition.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
Proverbs 18:1 An unfriendly person pursues selfish ends and against all sound judgment starts quarrels.
Galatians 5:19-21 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Philippians 1:17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.
James 3:14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
Selfishness which is destructive is the form of selfishness which does not good or is of no benefit toward the spirit of God. Activity, thought, and invested resources which do not produce love and peace may be missing the mark or sin. When this occurs we simply redirect ourselves in the direction of God's love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, patience, and kindness. We attempt again to grow and build God's kingdom with Godly character.
We are to guard our hearts, thoughts, and soul carefully from unhealthy decisions.