Seeking my own way and serving my own needs is not hard. But learning to put others first at times can be difficult. When it comes to love are self-seeking or serving?
We continue through 1 Corinthians 13 as we compare the attributes of love with the mutuality commands (one anothers) found throughout the Scriptures.
Love does not insist on its own way; (ESV)
Love is not self-seeking; (NIV)
Love isn’t always “me first,” (MSG)
Love is not self-absorbed. (The Voice)
Love is not selfish. (HCSB)
—1 Corinthians 13:5b
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” —Galatians 5:13-14
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. — 1 Corinthians 10:24
LOVE is not self-seeking so WALK serving one another.
Seek (insist) in the original language of Scripture means to require, demand, expect, crave; to demand something from someone.
Seeking, craving and demanding my own way is not hard! If you are like me, I find being a creature of comfort and convenience quite natural and easy. I like things to fit my routine, my plans, my schedule, my needs and my expectations.
“One measure of our love is our willingness to care for people who aren’t very attractive to us: the whining, griping, passive, angry, and annoying people we try to avoid. “ —Julie Clinton, Woman of Extraordinary Faith
Jesus doesn’t just call us to love the people we like. God loves and accepts each of us in our weaknesses and faults, and through that love changes us. God’s love expands the field of vision and our hearts so we can better see and love others the way Jesus sees and loves them.
A love that serves removes the “me”focus, because the focus is Christ! This love-walk is the overflow of my love relationship with Christ Jesus and that enables me to love and look to the interest of others instead of seeking “my way”.
The opposite of a self-seeking love is a serving love. What does it mean to serve others in love?
A Serving Love Shows Hospitality and Welcomes
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God ‘s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies — in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. —1 Peter 4:8-10
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. — Romans 15:5-7
show hospitality —hospitable, loving strangers; a friend/kind to strangers.
welcome — to take as one’s companion, to take by the hand to lead, to take into one’s heart, to take into friendship, to receive into one’s home.
We show hospitality when we extend kindness and love to a friend or stranger. We show hospitality by acknowledging people, by commending accomplishments and by expressing affection and gratitude for others. We show hospitality by opening our homes to friends and strangers.
Our homes do not have to be large and impressive in order to extend hospitality. As they say, “love grows best in tiny spaces”. All that is required is a willingness to open our homes, and to do our best to make others feel comfortable and cared for while they are our guests.
We welcome one another as we embrace people as they are, whether strong or weak, right or wrong. It is not something we practice only when we “feel” like it or extend only to those who are easy to love and serve. It requires that we serve with a love beyond our natural abilities. It requires a complete dependence upon the Lord as His Spirit expresses love through us. We just become the vessels of His love.
A Serving Love Serves
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God ‘s varied grace: —1 Peter 4:10
serving — to attend to anything that may serve another’s interests
We serve one another anytime we meet the need of someone. We serve one another as we use our spiritual gifts to build up the body of Christ and further God’s kingdom. We serve one another as we commit our resources, time, money, energy and expertise to meet the practical needs of fellow believers and those in need around us.
Is God calling you to love, serve, welcome or show hospitality to someone outside your comfort zone? Extend a hand of hospitality today!
Rejoicing in Him!
©2013 Walk in Love, Susan Cady