- This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Paul tells us that in the last days, men will be "lovers of their own selves rather than lovers of God". My friends, the number one characteristic of men and women in the last days? Without a doubt, it will be SELFISHNESS.
What grieves my heart above many things I witness today is the overwhelming number of parents who care more about themselves than they do their children. They don't want to sacrifice their time to another - even when that other happens to be their own child. We have so many drug addicted parents who care more about where they will find their next fix than they do caring for their kids. And what of the way some children treat their parents? So many children show little or no respect for the parents who have nurtured them, and loved them more than anyone else has on this earth. These days many of our kids are not satisfied with a barbie doll or model airplane for Christmas, they are counting on a few video games and a new cell phone! All these new gadgets we have available today have done nothing to help us be more humane to one another have they? But they do cost a pretty penny and boy do they entertain us :(
What of the sin of covetousness mentioned above? We are never satisfied with what we have, we covet other people's belongings and sometimes even the life they lead. We expect to get our way in all things. And yes, many of us despise those who are good for the simple reason that they show us the way we SHOULD live and treat others. The sense of entitlement that some walk around with is appalling. Everything should be given to us, we think that we are owed it, that it is "due" us. Where did this sick thinking come from? The selfishness that has grown in our hearts.
We have little or no self-control. We can fly off the handle at others at the drop of a hat. And not always over some big thing, sometimes it can be as small as another slightly stepping in line ahead of us at the supermarket! Well, do we handle this by saying, "Excuse me, I was next in line? Those with no self-control do not handle it this way. They would go off on that person without giving it a second of thought. We don't control our eating habits or drinking habits the way we should. Gluttony is a sin but we don't hear much of it these days. There are preachers who will cut down a drug addict in two seconds flat but never take a look in the mirror and it dawn on them that THEY themselves have no self-control.
It's pretty bad when you have to endure the pain inflicted on you by a traitor but think if you had live with the knowledge that the traitor resides within your own family! My friends, this is becoming commonplace in families today. Traitors who care nothing for others and yes, even their own family members who have loved them and cared for them through thick and thin.
The narcissistic society today
What Paul describes in the opening of 2nd Timothy chapter 3 is essentially a narcissistic society in the last days. I am convinced and I do confess to knowing a little about narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissus was in love with himself. He was in love with his reflection. What do we have today? We have many little Narcissus's running around! And their numbers are rapidly growing.
While our society in general is growing more narcissistic everyday, we must strive to keep our minds and hearts geared toward Jesus Christ and the way HE would have us live our lives. Jesus was all about others. He had compassion and forgiveness toward all and was slow to anger. He didn't judge by men's standards but rather judged in righteousness as he was and is the righteous judge of mankind. Jesus came to serve and he in fact said he was a servant and came NOT to be served by others. He was the epitome of selflessness. The best defense from becoming narcissistic in these last days? The word of God my friends. Read it, study it, put it to work in your lives and cleave to it like it is a life preserver because that is exactly what it is. You would do well to keep it by your side and keep it's truths in your mind and written upon your heart in these last days.