It is not self-seeking.
God’s love is not self-seeking. In a world that is all about self this one may be a huge challenge for us, in more ways than we initially recognize.
We have already discussed boasting and being prideful. While both of those are rooted in selfishness and self-centeredness, self-seeking has a different shade to it.
Self-seeking: To require, crave or demandsomething from someone. The act or practice of selfishly advancing one’s own ends.
Again, let us peel back the layers of this definition so we can clearly see the pitfalls of self-seeking.
Require: To make it necessary for someone to do something.
Crave: To have a very strong desire for something.
Demand: A forceful statement in which you say that something must be done or given to you.
Reading this definition would you say that you are self-seeking? Until I really studied out this passage I would not have thought of myself as self-seeking even after reading this definition.
Let me ask this question a different way. Do you expect things from others even if you don’t always voice those expectations? Guilty. I know I do, more times than I realize. I place expectations on people all the time, sometimes unintentionally, then I am hurt when they fail to meet my expectations. This can cause an unrealistic demand from others and a certain disappointment for me.
What is it we crave? Recognition from others? Acknowledgement for our “good” deeds? Unconditional love from family and friends?
Is it their place to provide that for us or have we placed an unrealistic requirement on them that we should be seeking from God instead?
Psalm 63:1 “You, God, are my God, I earnestly seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”
John 12:43 “for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.”
Matthew 6:2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”
Matthew 6:4 “Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
When we remember that we are living for an audience of One, we lose the need to please others. God see everything we do. Scripture is clear of that and one day we will be judged/rewarded for that. God loves us more than anyone here on Earth could ever even hope to love us. When we seek God, His love, His righteousness and His kingdom, scripture says everything else will fall into place. So there is no need for us to try to advance our own agendas. God has a perfect plan for us. His perfect plan involves us humbly surrendering to Him and loving like Him. When we do that, whatever agenda we had will pale in comparison to what God has in store for us.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
1 Corinthians 10:24 Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
Once again we see our call to humble ourselves. Humility is the foundation to loving the way God calls us to love. We cannot elevate self while demonstrating agape love. We must put others before us. We must think of others first. Agape love is humble love. Humility only comes with surrender to God.
Lord, help us to understand humility and surrender. Bring us to our knees so we can stand for YOU. Use us to be Your light in this dark world and a shower of Your love to a world that is hurting.
John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.