“Love is not self-seeking” — these words boldly stared me down as I was doing some reading in 1 Corinthians this morning. I wasn’t really struck with any new convictions as I read these words, but they resonated with me heavily because my tendency (understatement) to be self-focused & self-seeking has been steadily on my mind for awhile. I have confessed before and will confess again that inside of me are some very ungodly desires —but I don’t think that the “gay” ones are the most dangerous, however easy it may be to paint them as such. The most dangerous desires that exist inside of me, I believe, are self-seeking desires for the praise and attention of others.
Just two quick examples of what I mean:
- Most often, I only hang around people that make me feel better about me or the people that I think can help me get to where I want to be.
- I’ve found myself (more often than I’d like to admit) wanting to write and blog because doing it makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel like I have purpose, like I’m accomplishing something, like I’m helping people. Purpose, accomplishment, and helping others can be good things. But if they’re being fueled by a desire for attention or to make much of ourselves, they’re not very loving things.
These are only a couple (of many) areas in my life where I have seen selfishness rather than selflessness, vanity rather than substance, pride rather than love. I know that these are deep heart issues are impossible for me to repair, so in hopes that God would do what I can’t, I’ve pleaded with the Him:“PLEASE help me get off of myself!” The most obvious way He has helped me (from my perspective) is by softening my heart and allowing me to see with more clarity my self-infatuation, so that I can repent of it. But I have to do what I just stated—-repent. I can’t just notice it and hope that I grow more selfless with time….I have to consciously make an effort to turn from myself and ask God to give my heart the grace it needs to be transformed. Doing this takes discipline, which I suck at. But it’s something that I must do. If I want to love and serve the Lord and others with a genuine love (and I do), everyday I’ve got to make the conscious decision to let Matt Moore take seat and let Christ flesh out His love and humility through me.
I think this passage sums up my scattered thoughts perfectly:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”- Phillipians 2:3-8