I can’t decide how to be selfish

Thanksgiving is at our house this year.

That means what it always means when you’re the host. Time to spruce up.

So my wife wants to change the bedroom around, make it better. At first I do the guy default and think, “That means work and money.” Of course I don’t say that.

After a day or so I start realizing how happy it would make her. Then I remember how happy I get when she’s happy. And how easy she is to please. And how she gives me more credit than I deserve.


Then I realize she’s just talking about some paint and accessories. Not all new furniture. Sure I’d have to paint the bedroom, but it’s been seven years–I’ll have to do it sometime anyway.

Let’s see, a couple of days work, minimal expense, nice bedroom, super-happy wife, hero status.

So what’s more selfish? Complain, do things grudgingly, and maybe she even gives up and so you get out of the trouble? Is that selfish?

Or is it selfish to think of how happy you’ll be when she’s happy? So you gladly do it for her but really it’s for yourself.

Are you selfish if you do it or don’t do it?

Getting joy from the joy of someone you love sure makes life complicated.

About the Author


If you could take a pill that imparted encouragement and big picture perspective the whole world would change. In Charlotte, NC I try to help New Life 91.9 radio to be that pill. I also team up with my wife Brenda, and our daughters and sons-in-law, to try to dent the world with a bit of hope and encouragement.

  • Amy

    I’ve thought about this before! I say go for the one that makes more than just you happy :)

  • Abbie

    So … is serving God because I know that is ultimately what will make me the most happy selfish?

  • Pingback: Hi, I’m Gary