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WoW 118: On fighting against selfishness [Words of Wisdom]
Episode 2831st January 2024 • Words of Wisdom • Josh Kalsbeek, LMFT
00:00:00 00:05:34

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Words of Wisdom: Fighting Against Selfishness

Today's episode looks at the stronghold of selfishness and reminds us that flourishing involves shifting from vice to virtue. A key path to identify and surrender your strongholds is through intentional reflection and prayer. Focusing on selfishness, Josh suggests a structured prayer to help introspect, acknowledge, and overcome selfishness. The episode ends with inspirational quotes from The Spiritual Exercises by Ignatius of Loyola and The Little Minister by J.M. Barrie, as well as thought-provoking questions to guide reflections and prayers throughout the week.

00:00 Introduction to Fighting Against Selfishness

00:21 Understanding Your Strongholds

00:48 The Danger and Opportunity of Reflecting on Strongholds

01:04 The Power of Intentional Reflection and Prayer

01:29 Deep Dive into Selfishness

02:37 Praying Through Selfishness

04:01 Inspirational Quotes on Selfishness and Spiritual Growth

05:03 Self-Reflection Questions

05:24 Conclusion: Desire God Above All Else

About Josh Kalsbeek, LMFT

• As a Psychoherapist I help people overcome their greatest struggles.

•Founder and CEO of Great Oaks Collective, and it's flagship program Overcome, a 10-Week virtual Intensive Outpatient Program for Christian couples experiencing sexual betrayal and addiction. www.greatoakscollective.com

• Sign up to receive my weekly email newsletter, Words of Wisdom. ​

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Links

​the 5 core strongholds​

Ignatius of Loyola, ​The Spiritual Exercises ​

J.M. Barrie, ​The Little Minister​

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Transcripts

Josh:

Words of Wisdom 118 On Fighting Against Selfishness Your flourishing

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depends on the depth of your character.

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Your achievements are secondary.

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Your virtue is primary.

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Your depth of character depends

on how much you are able to

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move from vice to virtue.

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Your vices or strongholds are those

patterns of struggles that disconnect you

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from God, from yourself, and from others.

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I've identified the five core strongholds

as selfishness, dishonesty, fear,

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resentment, and distorted thinking.

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Reflecting on your

strongholds is like a maze.

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It is full of distorted

thinking and dead ends.

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It's fraught with danger and opportunity.

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The danger is that you get sucked into

temptations and actually feed your

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strongholds while reflecting on them.

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The opportunity is that you learn to

identify and surrender your strongholds.

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A simple way to fight against

your strongholds is through

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intentional reflection and prayer.

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Take five minutes a day to

sit in quiet reflection and

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prayer about your strongholds.

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Ignatius of Loyola, in his book The

Spiritual Exercises, first called this

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type of rigorous self reflection a

daily examen, and it is a way to pray

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through your strongholds each day.

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Let's focus on selfishness today.

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As I've written previously,

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Selfishness is when your focus

is on what you need and want

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at the expense of others.

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Selfishness can be a form of self

protection or hoarding power.

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Avoiding vulnerability and

refusing to sacrifice always

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causes harm to someone else.

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Selfishness is deadly serious

and destroys faith and worship.

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When selfish, you are not asking, How can

I empower, serve, sacrifice for, and love?

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When selfish, you believe,

My needs come first.

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I am most important.

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I need to be needed.

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I need to be right.

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I must get my way.

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I must be the best.

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It's not my fault, or poor me.

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No one likes to think of

themselves as selfish.

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But if we're honest with ourselves,

it happens more than we would like.

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A core part of the spiritual journey

is to root out selfishness and replace

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it with the faith to follow the Lord.

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Here is one way to pray

through selfishness.

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O God our Father, High King of the heavens

and the earth, search my heart today.

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Show me If I had any selfishness,

to what degree did I seek my

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own agenda instead of yours?

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To what degree did I put myself

first in front of others?

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To what degree did I

desire pleasure too much?

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To what degree did I desire

possessions too much?

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To what degree did I desire

achievement too much?

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Forgive me for my selfishness.

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I surrender my selfishness to you.

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Root out my desire to put myself first.

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Grow in me a desire to serve

you alone and to love others.

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I turn my will and my life over to you.

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I worship you, my king.

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Here I am.

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Lead me.

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Help me to notice and respond

to your promptings today.

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I follow and serve you alone.

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Amen.

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Quotes for this it is necessary to

make ourselves indifferent to all

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created things In all that is allowed

to the choice of our free will and is

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not prohibited to it so that, on our

part, we want not health rather than

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sickness, riches rather than poverty,

honor rather than dishonor, long rather

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than short life, and so in all the rest,

desiring and choosing only what is most

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conducive for us to the end for which

we are created by Ignatius of Loyola

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in his book The Spiritual Exercises.

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The life of every man is a

diary in which he means to write

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one story and writes another.

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And his humblest hour is when

he compares the volume as it is

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with what he vowed to make it.

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By J.

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M.

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Barrie, in his book, The Little Minister.

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Questions Do I have hope I can overcome

my strongholds with God's help?

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How have I been selfish lately?

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What are the fears

underneath my selfishness?

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Use these questions as a journal prompt

and to guide your prayers this week.

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Endnote, God wants the best for you, and

your best is to desire Him above all else.

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Live wisely.

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Josh

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