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Selfishness ( 3,294 )
Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
Related phrases:   this is selfishness ( 2 )  --  leprosy of selfishness (9)  -   spirit of selfishness  ( below )
The Lord desires His people to realize that selfishness is the great sin of the world, and that it has also become the prevailing sin of the Church. The Lord has been greatly dishonored by the failure of the Church to impart of their means for the advancement of the work which He desires to see going forward with power. I entreat my brethren and sisters throughout the world to awaken to the responsibility that rests upon them to pay a faithful tithe. Do not allow lax principles to lead you to rob God. Keep a faithful account with your Creator. Realize fully the importance of being just with Him who has divine foreknowledge. Let every one search his heart diligently. Let him look up his accounts, and find out how he stands as related to God. { RH December 3, 1901, par. 1 }‚Äč
Selfishness, which manifests itself in a variety of ways according to circumstances and the peculiar organization of individuals, must die. If you had children, and your mind were compelled to be called away from yourself to care for them, to instruct them, and be an example to them, it would be an advantage to you. . . . When two compose a family, as in your case, and there are no children to call into exercise patience, forbearance, and true love, there is need of constant watchfulness lest selfishness obtain the supremacy, lest you yourselves become the center, and you require attention, care, and interest, which you feel under no obligation to bestow upon others.  {AH 159.4}
The love that gives kindness to only a few is not love, but selfishness. It will not in any way work for the good of souls or the glory of God. Those who thus leave their Master's talents unimproved are even more guilty than are the ones for whom they feel such contempt. To them it will be said, Ye knew your Master's will, but did it not.  {COL 352.4}  
God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His estimation as well as in that of finite man. But however trifling this or that wrong in their course may seem in the eyes of men, no sin is small in the sight of God. The sins which man is disposed to look upon as small may be the very ones which God accounts as great crimes. The drunkard is despised and is told that his sin will exclude him from heaven, while pride, selfishness, and covetousness go unrebuked. But these are sins that are especially offensive to God. He "resisteth the proud," and Paul tells us that covetousness is idolatry. Those who are familiar with the denunciations against idolatry in the word of God will at once see how grave an offense this sin is.  {5T 337.2}
  .  .  . They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled underfoot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonored, the truth made of none effect.  {5T 210.3}
The Saviour knew that no argument, however logical, would melt hard hearts or break through the crust of worldliness and selfishness. He knew that His disciples must receive the heavenly endowment; that the gospel would be effective only as it was proclaimed by hearts made warm and lips made eloquent by a living knowledge of Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. The work committed to the disciples would require great efficiency; for the tide of evil ran deep and strong against them. A vigilant, determined leader was in command of the forces of darkness, and the followers of Christ could battle for the right only through the help that God, by His Spirit, would give them.  Aacts of the Apostles, page 31.1
If we represent the character of Christ, every particle of selfishness must be expelled from the soul. In carrying forward the work He gave to our hands, it will be necessary for us to give every jot and tittle of our means that we can spare. Poverty and distress in families will come to our knowledge, and afflicted and suffering ones will have to be relieved. We know very little of the human suffering that exists everywhere about us; but as we have opportunity, we should be ready to render immediate assistance to those who are under a severe pressure.  {AH 370.1}
Constant, self-denying benevolence is God's remedy for the cankering sins of selfishness and covetousness. God has arranged systematic benevolence to sustain His cause and relieve the necessities of the suffering and needy. He has ordained that giving should become a habit, that it may counteract the dangerous and deceitful sin of covetousness. Continual giving starves covetousness to death. Systematic benevolence is designed in the order of God to tear away treasures from the covetous as fast as they are gained, and to consecrate them to the Lord, to whom they belong. . . .  {AH 370.4}
But the hearts of men become hardened through selfishness, and, like Ananias and Sapphira, they are tempted to withhold part of the price, while pretending to fulfill God's requirements. Many spend money lavishly in self-gratification. Men and women consult their pleasure and gratify their taste, while they bring to God, almost unwillingly, a stinted offering. They forget that God will one day demand a strict account of how His goods have been used, and that He will no more accept the pittance they hand into the treasury than He accepted the offering of Ananias and Sapphira.  {AA 75.2}
free  from  selfishness
If a professing Christian is unchristlike; if he cherishes unholy traits of character, studying how he may get the best of a bargain to the disadvantage of some one else, if, forgetting that it is his duty to help others, he cares little whether he destroys his neighbor’s prospects, he is as salt that has lost its savor—fit only to be cast out. He may gain some advantage himself, but what help is he to the world? If the character is not under the moulding influence of the Spirit of God, if the life is not free from selfishness, what does the profession avail?  { ST February 12, 1902, par. 4 }
opposite  of  selfishness
The work of beneficence is twice blessed. While he that gives to the needy blesses others, he himself is blessed in a still greater degree. The grace of Christ in the soul is developing traits of character that are the opposite of selfishness,—traits that will refine, ennoble, and enrich the life. Acts of kindnessperformed in secret will bind hearts together, and will draw them closer to the heart of Him from whom every generous impulse springs. The little attentions, the small acts of love and self-sacrifice, that flow out from the life as quietly as the fragrance from a flower—these constitute no small share of the blessings and happiness of life. And it will be found at last that the denial of self for the good and happiness of others, however humble and uncommended here, is recognized in heaven as the token of our union with Him, the King of glory, who was rich, yet for our sake became poor.  { MB 82.2} 
the  spirit  of  Selfishness
On the other hand, the spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. The principle illustrated in the lives of worldlings is to get, get. Thus they hope to secure happiness and ease, but the fruit of their sowing is misery and death.  {AA 339.3}
Instituted by God, marriage is a sacred ordinance and should never be entered upon in a spirit of selfishness. Those who contemplate this step should solemnly and prayerfully consider its importance and seek divine counsel that they may know whether they are pursuing a course in harmony with the will of God. The instruction given in God's word on this point should be carefully considered. Heaven looks with pleasure upon a marriage formed with an earnest desire to conform to the directions given in the Scripture.  {AH 70.1}
We need to guard against the first deviation from righteousness; for one transgression, one neglect to manifest the spirit of Christ, opens the way for another and still another, until the mind is overmastered by the principles of the enemy. If cultivated, the spirit of selfishness becomes a devouring passion which nothing but the power of Christ can subdue.  {CC 286.4}
Naturally of a covetous disposition, Ahab, strengthened and sustained in wrongdoing by Jezebel, had followed the dictates of his evil heart until he was fully controlled by the spirit of selfishness. He could brook no refusal of his wishes; the things he desired he felt should by right be his.  Prophets and Kings, page 204.2  Read entire chapter 16
life  of  Selfishness   ( separate page )
Appears 17 times in the writings of EGW
Self-sacrifice is the key-note of Christ's teachings. Often this is enjoined upon believers in language that seems authoritative, because there is no other way to save men than to cut them away from their life of selfishness. Christ gave, in his life on earth, a true representation of the power of the gospel. He suffered the cruel death on the cross, that we might have a true conception of his love for us, and of the spirit of self-sacrifice that must take possession of every believer in him. He became poor that we through his poverty might be made rich. To every soul who will suffer with him in resistance of sin, in labor for his cause, in self-denial for the good of others, he promises a part in the eternal reward of the righteous. Through the exercise of the spirit that characterized his life-work, we are to become partakers of his nature. Partaking in this life of sacrifice for the sake of others, we shall share with him in the life to come the "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."  {RH, September 28, 1911 par. 9}
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