Selfish? Check out King David!
Being selfish is something we often do without even thinking about it. It’s as easy and thoughtless as breathing. We all have needs and desires, and we live in a society that encourages us to seek pleasurable things that bring us instant gratification. This is very dangerous.
Instant gratification is fleeting. The shallowness of it will leave you thirsting for more gratification the second it begins to fade. A constant chase of instant gratification will prohibit any entrepreneur from leveling up. You can’t achieve your full potential if you are always chasing momentary pleasure. Delaying gratification is something that I wrote about in my book View From the Top, because I firmly believe that if you delay gratification you will accelerate your success as an entrepreneur and receive a greater reward in the long run.
While the story of David and Goliath is one of the most popular in the Bible, there’s another story about King David that involves treachery of the highest degree. This is the story of David and Bathsheba.
Not only did David act selfishly, but he displayed covetousness as well. Using his powers as king, he took what was not rightfully his. He directly violated two of the 10 Commandments the instant he had Bathsheba brought into his private chambers. After coveting her, he committed adultery with her. He then tried to cover up his sin by enticing her husband Uriah to leave the army in the midst of war and sleep with his wife. David thought that if Uriah slept with Bathsheba in proximity to the time David slept with her, no one would know that David had impregnated her and it would naturally be thought that the child she would bear would be of Uriah.
When Uriah acted honorably and refused to stay away from the battle to lay with his wife, David secretly ordered the commander of the army to place Uriah at the front line in the heat of the battle and draw the other Israelite soldiers away from him so that he would be killed. In doing this, David committed cold-blooded premeditated murder.
David did do many things that pleased God throughout his life, but this lapse of judgement significantly affected him and his family. When he pursued a moment of instant gratification, he didn’t weigh the consequences carefully. The prophet Nathan was immediately sent by God to rebuke David and deliver a message of punishment that would create never-ending divisiveness in David’s household.
The whole story is riddled with the selfishness of David. First by staying home in the palace in Jerusalem and not going out and leading his men on the battlefield and worse by taking the wife of Uriah for his own personal pleasure. The consequences of his actions lasted several generations and impacted countless people.
When we indulge in selfishness, especially at the expense of others, bad things are going to happen. I created a document called 101 Acts of Kindness, which I use to practice being selfless and increase the significance of my life. I welcome you to practice these acts with me. Others in your life, whether they be family, friends, or strangers, will be impacted by your kindness and selflessness. Doing an act of selflessness and sharing the details of your experience with members of your mastermind group can serve as encouragement to them. Consider meeting with your mastermind group and agreeing to hold each other accountable to one act of selflessness each week.
Do you want to be remembered for your selfishness like King David? If the answer is no, then make a commitment to be conscientious of your thoughts and actions, and intentionally commit acts of selflessness. If you do this, you will greatly increase your significance and success.