While suffering can enter a person’s life in numerous ways, one sure fire way to suffer from within is to live a selfish lifestyle. The more self-centered you are, the more vulnerable are you to suffering. That may sound counterintuitive when comes to self-preservation or “looking out for number one;” but, it’s an inescapable spiritual principle. Look at it from a large scale perspective. Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (Matthew 16:25-26)?”
Selfish people don’t serve well. For the most part, their service and gifts usually have strings attached, even if it’s simply for recognition. When they serve for the thank you, promotion or to be one-up on someone, and none of these come to fruition, they become frustrated or angry. Moreover, they may experience feelings of rejection, bitterness and even depression in some cases. All of these are types of suffering.
Selfishness closes the door to blessing. We know the principle of sowing and reaping (see 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Galatians 6:7-10). When you withhold a blessing, blessings are withheld from you. Proverbs 21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Is feeling empty and void of purpose a form of suffering? When people fail love and care for others, their life is empty, and that is not the abundant life Jesus desires them to have.
Deep down, selfish people tend to be lonely. Why? Who wants to be around them? If they never take interest in others, others will never take interest in them. It is that simple. Closed hearts don’t easily find open ones. How can some expect others to have an open heart for them, when their hearts are sealed tighter than a drum? No one is designed to live their life completely alone. Those who say they don’t need others are self-deceived. Scientifically, it’s been shown extended isolation leads to lunacy. Part of our design is to have fellowship with God. Those who reject communion with Him, suffer the most.