What does it mean that love is not self-seeking?


1 Corinthians 13:5

ESV - 5 Or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Love is the greatest gift that God gives. In 1 Corinthians 13, we have an elegantly beautiful description of God's type of love. To help us understand all that love entails, the apostle Paul includ...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Robert Broyles
According to the Apostle Paul "love (agape)...is not self-seeking." (See 1 Cor. 13:5) Paul defines this truth in even greater clarity in 2 Cor.10:24. "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth." (KJV) 

As the Son of Man, Christ lived out this agape love in His life daily. He said, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself...." (See Luke 9:23 KJV) To come after Christ is to live his life of self-denial. Does the Bible give us an example? Yes, in Luke 9:57,58

"...Someone said to Him, 'Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'”

This is agape love in action. There was no self-love, no self-seeking in Christ's life to the point of homelessness. He lived for others only with no thought of Himself. 

This is essentially the demands of God's law and it is summed in the following: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (See Matt. 22:39) Note that the law does not demand two things, but rather one: We are to love our neighbors as we naturally, by birth, love ourselves. 

The problem is we are born spiritually bent, that is, we are born bent-to-self. We are born into sin and the only type of love that we can generate, outside conversion, is self-love. Because we are born knowing only self-love we stand condemned under God's law. (See Rom. 3:19)

That is why the Bible states that "There are none righteous, no, not even one." (See Rom. 3:10) Thus "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God". (See Rom. 3:23) "The glory of God" being defined as His goodness & righteousness. (See Ex. 33:18,19)

The law points out that none of us can merit salvation through our goodness. The best of us fall short of God's agape love daily. That is not to say we can't grow in grace, but as long as life shall last we will never be good enough for heaven based on our performance. Only "in Christ" do we stand positively righteous through faith.

January 12 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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