Not Self-Seeking (1 Corinthians 13:5)

[love …] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong [suffered],

1 Corinthians 13:5

I wish that I could start the week on a better note, but the fact that love … does not seek its own is where I left off on my report card does not permit much celebration this morning. The idea that Paul presents is that love is not self-seeking; love is not “looking out for number one,” as it were, but is doing entirely different things.

The concept is built from two pieces: (1) love does not seek and (2) itself. The idea of seeking is not bad. In other places, the same word is used both negatively and positively. The term is used in reference to Herod seeking to kill Jesus as well as the believer seeking first God’s kingdom. The concept is neutral and is all about looking for something or someone with the intent to find it or them. Add in the object of that seeking and intent starts to come into focus.

Side note: if I am behaving as love behaves, then I will never feel the need to “find myself.”

Ultimately, this boils down to this: love is not selfish. The antithesis of selfishness is generosity, so I must examine myself for two things: (1) Am I selfish? (2) Am I generous?

The answers are (1) “Unfortunately, yes. More often than I would like.” and (2) “In some things, but most decidedly not in others.”

Father, let this be the focus today, that my eyes be on You and that You direct them where You want them. That I not be selfish, but generous.


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