Today, let's focus in on the phrase "seeketh not her own." Love does not seek its own way, agenda or well-being. In fact, the very definition of the word "unselfish" is "concerned primarily with other's interests, benefits, welfare, etc. regardless of your own."
Obviously, the most prominent act of unselfishness was Christ's death on the cross. Imagine facing such a horrendous death. The shame. The humiliation. The ridicule. And worst of all, the separation from your Father, who is literally a part of yourself. I don't know about you, but I'd be seeking my own escape. My own plan. My own way out. Yet, Jesus said, "Not my will but thine be done." Knowing what it would cost Him, He obeyed the Father and died for our sins.
Now, it is up to us to show that same selflessness to others, to put their needs and wants above our own, which is quite difficult in this "all about me" day and age. Let's face it. As a whole, we are self-centered, self-focused and downright selfish, but we don't have to be. The same power that kept Jesus selfless abides within us who are saved, which means we can think of others first.
My precious husband demonstrated such love this week. Knowing I had a backlog of work to do and was not yet feeling entirely back to normal, Jason volunteered to do the grocery shopping for me this week. I wouldn't say I hate running errands, but I admit it's not at the top of my "Fun Things To Do" list. I'd rather stay home and write, and Jason knows it. So, he offered to run the errands on Wednesday afternoon after work and before church. It would make a long day for him, but he was willing to do it for me. (Isn't he sweet?)
Honestly, I was willing to let him. I can't tell you how much his unselfishness and willingness to help meant to me. I was looking forward to some uninterrupted work time (something that is quickly becoming extinct around here, it seems). But when Wednesday came, it was a nasty, rainy day. All morning long, it poured. When Jason arrived home shortly after lunch, he was thoroughly soaked yet still willing to go back out and do the errands for me. As much as I liked the idea of someone else shopping for groceries and my having time to work on my writing, I just couldn't bear the thought of him going back out in that yucky weather. So, I talked him out of it and told him I would go Thursday morning when the weather wasn't so contrary.
Did you notice what happened there? Jason was unselfish and offered to do something for me even though it was an inconvenience to him. But, as it turned out, his good deed gave me the opportunity to display selflessness of my own. Knowing that I would still have to do the shopping later and would lose that time for writing, my love for Jason wouldn't allow me to send him out in the rain. I was more concerned for his well-being than I was my own inconvenience, just as he had been for me.
I guess you could say that unselfishness tends to breed unselfishness. One selfless act often leads the way to another then another and another. It's contagious!
Now, before you go patting me on the back for my beautiful display of love, I should tell you that the situation above does not indicate my typical response. I wish I could tell you that I always live unselfishly and put the needs of others above my own, but it's not true. But, as I pointed out earlier, I have the ability to. I only need to make a choice to tap into that power that enables me to show love in its purest form.
And, my friend, if you're saved, you have that power too. You don't have to be selfish. You can think of others first. Just ask the Lord to help you and show you how and where you can improve. After all, who better to teach us about love than Love Himself, right?