“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.– 2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV
It is interesting that the very first thing listed in Paul’s letter to Timothy regarding the times of difficulty in the last days is that “…people will be lovers of self.”
In the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate the fruit offered by the serpent, it was “self” that said yes to sin. Their sin was disobedience, but it was the serpent appealing to their “self” that convinced them that they “surely would not die” if they ate of the fruit, that their “eyes would be opened,” and they “would be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5). They were more interested in appeasing the “self’s” desire than they were in obeying God. At that moment, they loved “self” more than they loved God, and ultimately made a decision that brought separation from God and death upon on all mankind.
It’s easy to see that the root of all sin is the love of self. Self has a loud voice that no one but you can hear. Self is weak, yet powerful. Self is selfish. Self is sinful. The love of self can, and will, lead to the other sins listed above as well as a myriad of others that are not listed.
Yes, our enemy is satan, but our enemy is also our self. We cannot defeat our self under our own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit living within us.
Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (self). For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” Gal 5:16-25. ESV
Adam and Eve loved “self” more than they loved God, and chose to disobey his command. The consequences were separation from God and death. You have that same choice in front of you. Will you choose to love Jesus and inherit eternal life? Or will you choose to love “self” and be eternally separated from God?