Love vs Selfishness
A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve. -Joseph Joubert
Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. -George Eliot
If thou must love me, let it be for naught except for love’s sake only. -Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’ -Erich Fromm
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another
2. a sincere consideration for another, strong and constant regard and dedication
Synonyms for Love: adoration, affection, passion, sentiment, appreciation, attachment
Antonyms for Love: dislike, hate, selfishness
What the Bible says about Love:
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
Proverbs 13:24 Those who love their children care enough to discipline them
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:4–8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Examples from the Bible:
Genesis 29:20 So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.
Ruth 1: Ruth,out of love, left what she knew and went with her mother in law Naomi to take up life with Naomi’s people
1 Samuel 18: 1-4: Jonathon had an uncommon love for David, and always put him before himself.
The Example of Jesus to Us:
Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
Personal Thoughts and Application:
Christian love seeks Christ and is submitted to Christ, therefore it is not selfish or self-seeking. So many times, I watch people “fall in love” with each other, not realizing that the love is based on how that other person makes them feel, which is a selfish, self-seeking form of love. When the burning embers of that infatuated, feel good love snuff out, then the foundation of their love crumbles. The only way to keep a real love relationship alive and growing is to build it on a foundation other than the “feel good love”. By building your love relationship on Christ, your relationship has a thriving VINE of LIFE to be nurtured by. As the “feel good” love fades, it is replaced by a more mature and satisfying love because the basis for that love is serving. It is concerned with what you give to that other person vs what they give or do for you. It is also concerned with putting God first even if that means telling that person “no” or not enabling that person to continue in choices that are wrong and harmful.
I challenge you to put ALL of your relationships (spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, child, relative, co-worker, friend) under the litmus test of true love: Questions to ask: “Why do I love this person? What is my motivation in this relationship and what are my expectations? What if this person does not mutually reciprocate the effort I put into this relationship or treat me the way I desire them to do? How would God view this relationship and would it bring glory and honor to Him?
PRAYER FOR YOU: May you strive to seek Christ and to make Him the rooted vine that connects ALL of your relationships. May you question your motivations and honor God with how you treat others and show them His love. May God help you to love with pure motives and not self-seeking agendas.
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