Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Love does not seek its own

Before I go back into 1 Corinthians 13, I want to go a little into something that's been on my heart as of late. Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast entitled "Last Words" by Ben Courson, in which he talked about living every day like it's our last day before we go to heaven. As I sat there thinking and looking across campus, I began to take the topic deeper into what it might look like personally. When we think about sharing with others, some of the thoughts that cross our mind (or at least mine) are: Well I might as well share this with this person because I am not going to see them again - or - We become so afraid of sharing, or so content with our lives that we end up not sharing with them at all. BUT WAIT A SECOND. where did our view of eternity go? Instead of sharing because we might never see them again, share BECAUSE you will see them again in heaven! Instead of being afraid to initiate conversation, realize that you might never get the chance to share with that person again! Instead of being content with your life, remembering that any moment could be your last moment this side of eternity, and then what? Would you be happy with your life or would there be anything that you would want to do differently? DO IT NOW. Think about what it will be like in heaven with all the people you have and could effect. What a joyous thought!

ok so back to the verses:

1 Corinthians 13:5-6 - "[Love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; Does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth"

That first part, "does not behave rudely" can be a tough one. Yeah, obviously don't behave inconsiderately of those around you; Don't be hurtful. But as obvious as this verse is, I'd like to take it deeper. What about preachers, such as the ones that come to our campus preaching hate out of a supposed "love" to see them come to God? I would consider that rude, or as the KJV puts it "unseemly". When people thronged toward Jesus, it wasn't because he cried in the streets (Isaiah 42:2, Matthew 12:19), It was because He exuded love to others so much that the common people heard him gladly (Luke 12:37) and it was the religious people that about had a stroke. That, for the most part, seems to have completely switched. Many of the preachers I have experienced on campus that attack students, seem to be ridiculed and not a word from their mouth is taken in by their listeners. It saddens me that their love is not the love of 1 Corinthians 13.

Love does not seek its own, or in other words, it is not selfish. Raise your hand if you struggle with that one. Our tendencies are naturally selfish. What career do I want? What would earn me the most money? respect? love? And the world sits and wonders why so many marriages fail these days; Why there is so much depression; Why there is so much jealousy and fighting. If we would all just treat others the way that they would want to be treated, placing them higher than ourselves, what a world this would be!

Love is not provoked, Love does not think evil, Love does not rejoice in iniquity. When we began to see things unselfishly, these cease! When we are provoked, it is because we are cheated or treated unfairly. But that is based on the premise that we deserve respect. Jesus, of which should garner the most respect, was completely ridiculed and challenged, and yet he was never provoked; He always thought good thoughts! OH, How I would love to daily learn to live like Jesus and not be provoked as I so easily do. And for those that provoke me, I want to learn to be able to hope the best for them, and not rejoice in their iniquity as so often my selfish desires and pleasures tell me to do.

Love rejoices in the truth! When others are lifted up, I want to be able to rejoice. Love rejoices when others are praised or blessed or doing well. It rejoices when there is truth. It is the opposite of jealousy, of greed. It rejoices when someone turns to put their faith in Christ, in the truth (as seen with the angels). Love loves when truth is the highest standard.

A lot of these passages on love deal solely with the topic of being unselfish. Lifting others up above yourselves; placing their eternal picture, higher than your own. So going back to my first thoughts, love those around you today, this thanksgiving week, this year, until your appointed time to meet Jesus. Its not a question of fear or carelessness, it's one of unselfishness, of LOVE!

Watch this!!! ---HERE---
Sums everything up!

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