Big Idea

Do not be self-centered, but love selflessly.

Scene Setup

For five years after their initial love, Gatsby has thought of nothing but winning Daisy Buchanan’s heart. He pursued power, riches, and notoriety to catch her attention, even though he knows she is a married woman. And when he finally does meet her again, things are wonderful for a while. They carry on their affair in secret until Gatsby decides Daisy needs to leave her husband, Tom, and marry him instead. But Daisy is happy to carry on with the way things are: she doesn’t need to leave her husband, but she still gets to keep her lover on the side. Gatsby insists she tell Tom that she never loved him, that way she and Gatsby can be together forever. However, when pushed to express her true feelings, Daisy can’t bring herself to say she never loved Tom. In hysterics after their confrontation, she gets involved in a hit-and-run, accidentally killing Tom’s mistress, and lets Gatsby take the blame for it. This causes the woman’s jilted husband to hunt Gatsby down and murder him.

Topics

self-centered, Selfishness, Selflessness, Forsake, Abandon

Scene

Gatsby’s body floats in his pool, surrounded by the shadows of tabloid reporters, police officers, and photographers. The public decides that he is the one responsible for the hit-and-run death of Myrtle, the mechanic’s wife, and labels her as his mistress. In the meantime, Nick Carraway, a neighbor, is left as Gatsby’s only friend to handle the media fallout and funeral preparations. He tries to reach out to Daisy, since he knew that Gatsby was so passionately in love with her. Her servant answers the phone just as Daisy is explaining to her daughter that they are going on a family vacation all together. All around them, though, servants are packing up their home- it’s clearly not a vacation, but an overall relocation. He covers for the Buchanans, saying that they have already gone, and he doesn’t know when they are coming back. They grab their things and leave- it looks as if they don’t plan on ever coming back.

Application

Daisy swears up and down that she loves Gatsby while they’re together. She lies and cheats to be with him, but at the same time, she gets to keep her comfortable, respectable life with her husband (even though at the same time, he’s being unfaithful to her). As soon as she’s asked to sacrifice something though, Daisy runs. Her love is totally selfish, self-serving, and only meaningful when she doesn’t have to give anything up for it. She uses people around her, and refuses to face the consequences of her actions. She looks after her own interests and comfort, and cares nothing for the people she hurts. Daisy is a textbook example of self-centeredness. Her life is all about her own comfort, and she looks out for only herself. But as Christians, hers is an example we should all seek to avoid. The Bible is filled with commands to be selfless and look out for others. Philippians 2:3-4 says that we should value others as more significant than ourselves, and to look out for their interests as well. Jesus commands his followers in Luke to love our enemies and do good, expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35). And if anyone is an example of selfless love, it’s Jesus. We could give God nothing (Acts 17:25), but He still loved us enough to make a way for us to have a relationship with Him through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross (Romans 5:8). We are called multiple times to bear one another’s burdens, and to think of others before ourselves (Galatians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 10:24, Hebrews 13:16). So how can you do that in your life? Where are you holding onto your own needs, your own comfort, above someone else’s? How can you serve those around you today? Ask the Lord to guide your heart, and see where He’s calling you to love selflessly.

 

Where To Find


Scriptures

Galatians 6:2

Acts 17:24-25

Luke 6:35

Philippians 2:3-4


Video Times

Start: 2:03:00

End: 2:04:41


Keywords

Self-centered, Self-centeredness, Selfish, Selfishness, Selfless, Selflessness, Forsake, Forsaken, Abandon, Abandonment, Love, False Love


Illustration Sermon General Warning

Gatsby’s body is shown floating in a pool, and in a casket.

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