Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Self-Love and Selfishness

QUESTION: Can a person be a true Christian who finds self at the bottom of all his desires and activities, who wants self to have God's favor and self to be saved from endless woe?

ANSWER: This querist evidently confounds self-love with selfishness. Self-love is an instinctive principle implanted by the Creator which impels every rational creature, however holy, to preserve his life and promote his own happiness. When God in his Word appeals to the hopes or to the fear of a man, he appeals to his self-love, he sanctions self-love when he makes it the measure of our love of our neighbors. Selfishness in exclusive regard for one's own interests, ends, or advantage, without any regard for others. It is destructive of the happiness of society, hateful in the sight of God, and repugnant to Christianity. It must be crucified. This crucifixion begins with the new birth when the love of God is first shed abroad in the heart and is completed when that love is made perfect, casting out all fear and killing all selfishness.

 — from Steele's Answers pp. 43, 44.