Selfish nature (36)

     Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                S e l f i s h     N A T U R E            (  4  RELATED  PHRASES  )                     

                       The  phrase  'selfish nature'  appears  36  times in the published writings of EGW                                                               page not on Original site                                                                Related phrase:     our selfish nature  ( below )  - -   sinful nature  ( 28 )  - -  Nature of Man  ( Fund. Belief # 7 )  

   Harsh and unkind words, words of censure and criticism of God’s work and his messengers, are indulged in by those who profess to be his children. When these careless souls discern the greatness of God’s character, they will not mingle their spirit and attributes with his service. When our eyes look by faith into the sanctuary, and take in the reality, the importance and holiness, of the work there being done,  everything of a selfish nature will be abhorred by us. Sin will appear as it is, — the transgression of God’s holy law. The atonement will be better understood; and by living, active faith, we shall see that whatever of virtue humanity possesses, it exists only in Jesus Christ, the world’s Redeemer. { RH December 22, 1896, par. 10 }

 

 

  It is one thing to assent in a general way to the agency of the Holy Spirit, and another thing to accept His work as a reprover calling to repentance. Many feel a sense of estrangement from God, a realization of their bondage to self and sin; they make efforts for reform; but they do not crucify self. They do not give themselves entirely into the hands of Christ, seeking for divine power to do His will. They are not willing to be molded after the divine similitude. In a general way they acknowledge their imperfections, but they do not give up their particular sins. With each wrong act the old selfish nature is gaining strength.  { COL 48.2}   Read entire Chapter 2

 

  Like other gifts of God, the possession of wealth brings its increase of responsibility, and its peculiar temptations. How many who have in adversity remained true to God, have fallen under the glittering allurements of prosperity. With the possession of wealth,  the ruling passion of a selfish nature is revealed. The world is cursed today by the miserly greed and the self-indulgent vices of the worshipers of mammon. —  Review and Herald, May 16, 1882. { CS 139.2} 

 
  Love is the principle that underlies God’s government in heaven and on earth, and this love must be interwoven in the life of the Christian.... The heart that is influenced by this holy principle will be carried above everything of a selfish nature.  { FLB 43.2 } 
  Love is the principle that underlies God’s government in heaven and on earth, and this love must be interwoven in the life of the Christian. The love of Christ is not a fitful love; it is deep, and broad, and full. Its possessor will not say, “I will love only those who love me.” The heart that is influenced by this holy principle will be carried above everything of a selfish nature.  { TMK 298.3} 
 
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  Without consulting her husband or telling him of her intention, Abigail made up an ample supply of provisions, which, laded upon asses, she sent forward in the charge of servants, and herself started out to meet the band of David. She met them in a covert of a hill. “And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience.” Abigail addressed David with as much reverence as though speaking to a crowned monarch. Nabal had scornfully exclaimed, “Who is David?” but Abigail called him, “my lord.” With kind words she sought to soothe his irritated feelings, and she pleaded with him in behalf of her husband. With nothing of ostentation or pride, but full of the wisdom and love of God, Abigail revealed the strength of her devotion to her household; and she made it plain to David that the unkind course of her husband was in no wise premeditated against him as a personal affront, but was simply the outburst of an unhappy and selfish nature. { DG 42.3}  and  { PP 666.1} 

 

  Hushai had not been called to the council, and he would not intrude himself unasked, lest suspicion should be drawn upon him as a spy; but after the assembly had dispersed, Absalom, who had a high regard for the judgment of his father’s counselor, submitted to him the plan of Ahithophel. Hushai saw that if the proposed plan were followed, David would be lost. And he said, “The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time. For, said Hushai, thou knowest thy father and his men, that they be mighty men, and they be chafed in their minds, as a bear robbed of her whelps in the field: and thy father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. Behold, he is hid now in some pit, or in some other place;” he argued that, if Absalom’s forces should pursue David, they would not capture the king; and should they suffer a reverse, it would tend to dishearten them and work great harm to Absalom’s cause. “For,” he said, “all Israel knoweth that thy father is a mighty man, and they which be with him are valiant men.” And he suggested a plan attractive to a vain and selfish nature, fond of the show of power: “I counsel that all Israel be generally gathered unto thee, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that thou go to battle in thine own person. So shall we come upon him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light upon him as the dew falleth on the ground: and of him and of all the men that are with him there shall not be left so much as one. Moreover, if he be gotten into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there be not one small stone found there. { PP 740.1}   Read entire chapter 72
 
  Ahab was weak in moral power. His union by marriage with an idolatrous woman of decided character and positive temperament resulted disastrously both to himself and to the nation. Unprincipled, and with no high standard of rightdoing, his character was easily molded by the determined spirit of Jezebel. His selfish nature was incapable of appreciating the mercies of God to Israel and his own obligations as the guardian and leader of the chosen people. { PK 115.1}   Read entire Chapter 8   also  { RH August 7, 1913, Art. A, par. 4 }
  Ahab was weak in moral power. He did not have a high sense of sacred things; he was selfish and unprincipled. His union by marriage with a woman of decided character and positive temperament, who was devoted to idolatry, made them both special agents of Satan to lead the people of God into idolatry and terrible apostasy. The determined spirit of Jezebel molded the character of Ahab. His selfish nature was incapable of appreciating the mercies of God to His people and his obligation to God as the guardian and leader of Israel. The fear of God was daily growing less in Israel. The blasphemous tokens of their blind idolatry were to be seen among the Israel of God. There were none who dared to expose their lives by openly standing forth in opposition to the prevailing blasphemous idolatry. The altars of Baal, and the priests of Baal who sacrificed to the sun, moon, and stars, were conspicuous everywhere. They had consecrated temples and groves wherein the work of men’s hands was placed to be worshiped. The benefits which God gave to this people called forth from them no gratitude to the Giver. All the bounties of heaven, — the running brooks, the streams of living waters, the gentle dew, the showers of rain which refreshed the earth and caused their fields to bring forth abundantly, — these they ascribed to the favor of their gods. { 3T 262.3}  also  { RH September 16, 1873, par. 28 }
 

  Harsh and unkind words, words of censure and criticism of God’s work and His messengers, are indulged in by those who profess to be His children. When these careless souls discern the greatness of God’s character, they will not mingle their spirit and attributes with His service. When our eyes look by faith into the sanctuary, and take in the reality, the importance and holiness, of the work there being done, everything of a selfish nature will be abhorred by us. Sin will appear as it is, — the transgression of God’s holy law. The atonement will be better understood; and by living, active faith, we shall see that whatever of virtue humanity possesses, it exists only in Jesus Christ, the world’s Redeemer  ( Review and Herald, December 22, 1896). { 4BC  1141.2 } 

 

  You should not give up in despair, thinking you must live and die in the bondage of doubt and unbelief. In the Lord we have righteousness and strength. Lean upon Him; and through His power you may quench all the fiery darts of the adversary and come off more than conqueror. You may yet become sanctified through the truth; or you may, if you choose, walk in the darkness of unbelief, lose heaven, and lose all. By walking in the light and working out the will of God, you may overcome your selfish nature. { 4T 213.3} 

 

  Hushai had not been called to the council, and he would not intrude himself unasked, lest suspicion should be drawn upon him as a spy; but after the assembly had dispersed, Absalom, who had a high regard for the judgment of his father’s counselor, submitted to him the plan of Ahithophel. Hushai saw that if the proposed plan were followed, David would be lost. And he said, “The counsel that Ahithophel hath given is not good at this time.” ... He suggested a plan attractive to a vain and selfish nature, fond of the show of power.... “And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” But there was one who was not deceived—one who clearly foresaw the result of this fatal mistake of Absalom’s. { CC 183.3} 
 
  Nowhere is the duty of forgiveness so plainly taught and so impressively enforced as in the lessons of Christ. Study the parable of the two debtors: “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which owed him ten thousand talents.” Here was one man in high position who had been intrusted with a vast amount of property. But upon an examination of his accounts he was found unfaithful; he owed his lord ten thousand talents. This, at the lowest computation, amounts to nearly ten million dollars. When the king saw the evidence of his servant’s unfaithfulness, he commanded him to be sold, with his wife and children, his houses, his lands, and all that he had, that payment might be made. Alarm seized the unfaithful man, as he saw ruin before him, and he pleaded for delay: “Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” But his lord knew that he could never pay the debt. While the servant acknowledged the justice of the sentence against him, he begged for mercy. “Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” What joy was this, what relief from the shadow of his wrong course, which surrounded him like a cloud! He went forth from the presence of his lord with the whole debt canceled. But circumstances occurred which tested the true spirit of this man, — whether he would manifest the same forgiveness and mercy that had been shown toward him, or whether his joy and gratitude were of a selfish nature, and his heart not softened. { HM January 1, 1892, par. 14 }
 
  God asks not only the tithe, but says we are to come to Him with tithes and offerings. Some will say that this was one of the rigorous laws binding upon the Hebrews: But it was not a burden to the willing heart that loved God. It is only when the selfish nature is made stronger by withholding that which God has given us that we might bless others, that we value earthly treasures above souls, above the blessings that are for the unselfish. { PUR October 24, 1901, par. 1 }

 

  Like other gifts of God, the possession of wealth brings its increase of responsibility, and its peculiar temptations. How many who have in adversity remained true to God, have fallen under the glittering allurements of prosperity. With the possession of wealth, the ruling passion of a selfish nature is revealed. The world is cursed today by the miserly greed and the self-indulgent vices of the worshipers of mammon. { RH May 16, 1882, par. 5 }

 

   He gave them the result of refusing the first invitation. He said, “So that servant came, and showed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” The servant had shown him that those to whom he had sent his invitation had rejected his message. The manner of excuses they offered, showed the selfish nature of their refusals. The Lord’s messengers in every age have given the gospel invitation. The Lord had brought Israel as a favored nation out of Egypt, he had manifested great love and compassion, and had freed them from a life of servitude to become a holy and happy people. Of them it could have been said, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” The Lord had first sent his invitation to his chosen people, but they had slighted and rejected his messenger. How vain, how needless, were the excuses they offered; but are the excuses that men give in this age any more sensible than those offered in the time of Christ?  { RH November 5, 1895, par. 3 }
 
  Saul appealed to the selfish nature of his men. He presented before them the advantages to be gained by serving him, in contrast with the disadvantages of the service of the poverty-stricken David, who was obliged to find his home in the caves and dens of the mountains. Satan and his evil angels were in that assembly, prepared to act a prominent part, and the power of these evil influences was working upon the mind of the willful and disobedient king. He had so long yielded himself to the control of evil angels that he did not discern that he was following their leading when he eagerly took advantage of circumstances to hold up to contempt the condition of David and his servants. How much this appeal to the selfish desires of his men, savors of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. “And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them; for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” { ST September 14, 1888, par. 4 }
 
  Without consulting her husband, or telling him of her intention, Abigail made up an ample supply of provisions, and started out to meet the army of David. She met them in a covert of a hill. “And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be; and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience.” Abigail addressed David with as much reverence as though speaking to a crowned monarch. Nabal had scornfully inquired, “Who is David?” but Abigail called him, “My Lord.” With kind words she sought to soothe his irritated feelings. She did not reproach him for his hasty action, for she felt assured that a little time and reflection would work a change in his purpose, and that his conscience itself would condemn the violent measure which he was about to take. She pleaded with David in behalf of her husband. With utter unselfishness of spirit, she desired him to impute the whole blame of the matter to her, and not to charge it to her poor, deluded husband, who knew not what was for his own good or happiness. What a spirit is this! With nothing of ostentation or pride, but full of the wisdom and love of God, Abigail revealed the strength of her devotion to her household. Whatever was her husband’s disposition, he was her husband still, and she made it plain to the indignant captain that the unkind course of her husband was in nowise premeditated against him as a personal affront; but it was simply the outburst of and unhappy and selfish nature. Nabal was naturally unreasonable and abusive, and when aroused he knew not what he said or did. { ST October 26, 1888, par. 5 }

 

  What joy was this, what relief from the shadow of his wrong course, which surrounded him like a cloud! He went forth from the presence of his lord with the whole debt canceled. But circumstances occurred which tested the true spirit of this man — whether he would manifest the same forgiveness and mercy to another that had been shown toward him, or whether the joy and gratitude which he expressed were of a selfish nature, and his heart was still unsoftened. “The same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.” { ST February 14, 1895, par. 7 }

 

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Nature (Separate page) Divine Nature (1,568) Laws of nature (214) Nature speaks (15) Sinful nature (28)