Selfishness is an attitude that the devil uses to get us into trouble. Loving ourselves always brings us to defeat. But how can we stop being selfish? By opening our hearts to a different kind of love—a love that is victorious! The Bible tells how it works: “And they overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)
The first part says, “by the blood of the Lamb.” Jesus was the Lamb of God that came to take away our sin. Have your sins been forgiven? God doesn’t forgive us because we deserve it. No, we can never be good enough or smart enough! You see, God doesn’t love us because of how great we are, but because He is good and faithful (Deuteronomy 7:8). When He sees us tangled up in sin and selfishness, He wants to rescue us. Even when we have been doing things that He hates, God wants to save us. When you receive God’s forgiveness, then you begin to learn about God’s unselfish love.
The next part says, “by the word of their testimony.” Do you have a testimony of God’s love to you? Maybe you feel like you have to do right or else you’ll get in trouble. God has something better for you—He wants you to serve Him because you want to. God loves us because He wants to. And it isn’t because He is selfish and wants you to do good things for Him. God wants you and I to be His children so that we can be safe and happy. He delights to care for us and give us everything we need! Now what if you say, “Thanks, but I’ll just take care of myself”? How would that make Him feel?
You see, God loves us with everything He is—His thoughts, His plans, His affection, His strength. And He wants you and I to love Him in the same way, because that is the only way we can be kept safe. God’s love is a victorious love, because nothing is too hard for it. No problem or need stops Him from loving. No person is too bad or problem too big for God’s love! Do you want to trust God’s love for you, and start loving others like He does? Maybe you have been like Jessie in the story—you are thankful for what God has done for you and you want to love others, but some attitude of selfishness keeps getting in the way. Maybe you feel angry or jealous when you really want to be kind and patient. Can you have victory over your temper, or fears, or other bad habits? Yes!
There is one last secret to God’s love that makes it unstoppable. It is the last part of the “overcoming” verse—can you find it? What do you think that means? Of course, we naturally love our lives. We don’t like to suffer or die. But if we “love not our lives to the death” we are saying that we are willing to suffer or die because something else is more important than “me.” What is that? Yes, God’s love. You see, you have to let God’s love be first, the most important, or else it won’t be able to lead you to victory. Remember the game “Follow the Leader”? The one in front is the leader that everybody follows, right? And if God’s love is our leader, then we’ll never be defeated!