Saturday, August 17, 2013

Me? Selfish? You Must Be Mistaken

I Corinthians 13:5
Love is not rude.  It does not demand its own way. 
 It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
 Can you imagine this world without love? This verse is in a passage that is read at many weddings.  This kind of love is not only helpful for marriages, but in every relationship.   The Greek word for this kind of love indicates a selfless concern for the welfare of others, not because they are easy to love, but because we are called to love people out of obedience to God no matter how unlovable and selfish they may be.
 Selfish people are rude, they demand their own way, they are irritable, and they don’t forgive easily, because their world is centered on themselves.
·         Have you ever been busy doing something and someone interrupts you?  I have, and my response has been rude. I have cut that person short or said something hurtful just because I want to get back to what is important to me at that time.
·         Do you have someone in your life that chooses to do things their own way even though it doesn’t match up with the way you would do them?  I do.  Even though, I’m sure my way is best, and I can’t understand why anyone doesn’t want to do it the way I do, I can’t demand things to be done my way all the time in a healthy relationship.
·         Do you have someone in your life that doesn’t live up to your expectations?  I do, and it makes me irritable.  I have also been the person in someone’s life that doesn’t live up to expectations. I know the pain that causes. I need to remember that perfection only exists in God.  I can’t be perfect, nor can anybody else.
·         Have you ever been betrayed or hurt by someone you trusted?  I have, and it’s hard to forget about.  Harsh words are going to be said in any relationship.  God wants us to forgive any words or actions done against us, and move on leaving the past in the past. 
I don’t think of myself as a selfish person, but if I measure myself against this verse, I seem to fit the characteristics at one time or another in my life.  While I might find it hard to love someone who exhibits these traits to me, I am called to love like God does and He loves me unconditionally… even when I am being a selfish brat.
I need to get over myself sometimes, do you? The world wants love to feel good, and if that means sacrificing morals or the feelings of other people, then so be it.  That’s not how God wants us to love.  We have to be selfless.  Love is not only a feeling, but it is a choice.  I need to choose to:
·         Treat others with kindness, even when they’re rude to me.
·         Compromise with people, and refuse to pout during the process.
·         Stop nagging when people don’t do things the way I want them to.
·         Stop bringing up past mistakes 
Today, I am going to praise God that He loves me no matter how unlovable I am, and ask Him to help me love others the way He loves me. That’s a tall order, because I am human, self-centered and weak, but I’m going to try…really I am.  
Passages to Ponder:
I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God.  But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.
Philippians 2:3-4 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.  Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
James 3:15- For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom.  Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
Contributors:  Karen Bromby, Kathy Derda, and Kim McClure

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