This is the fourth post in our series on Love. What is love, and what does it look like? We want to dig into the character of love and answer those questions. If you are just finding us, go ahead and check out the first three posts, Love Is…Patient, Love Is…Kind and Love Does…NOT Envy or Boast.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a NIV
Love Is NOT Self Seeking. I think everyone has some head knowledge of what this means, but do we all truly understand. Being focused on ourselves has been natural for all of us, since the moment we were born. At that moment, what did we do. We cried. Our world just got bigger, brighter, louder and we weren’t comfortable. We didn’t think about what our mother had just gone through. No we cried, for our own benefit. We wanted comfort. Growing up we had to learn to care for ourselves, and when we couldn’t we knew where to get the help we needed. The world of kids is all about them. When to play, what to learn, and how to behave all by making choices that got us we wanted.
Hopefully growing up we also learned a bit about helping others. Those times when we were helping others we were being taught to put others first. That is exactly what the part of the verse, Not Self Seeking, is saying. However, even when we are doing some things for others there are times when really the end goal was not to help someone but to help ourselves. What do I mean by this? Well let me give you some examples.
- Volunteering for some community service, maybe in scouts or something like it, to get to the next award or rank.
- Helping out in a food kitchen and being brought up front to be publicly praised for helping.
- Listening well in school to get into the teacher’s prize bin.
These are three simple examples but hopefully you can see how a lot of the times we were being taught to serve others, we were also being filled ourselves in some way. Love is NOT self-seeking. Love is showing others you care, filling their needs and wants, being their for them, and all the while not looking for anything, I mean ANYTHING in return.
Are there times in your life, you can look back on, and see how you serviced while inwardly looking for a reward of some sort? How could you have changed those situations to truly show love? Going Forward, how can you show love to others without seeking to serve yourself?