“It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5).
The philosophy of our time is to seek what will make us happy—to follow our hearts.
The Bible says, “Love is not self-seeking.” I struggle with really understanding the meaning of self-seeking.
I think some things that seem to be selfless can actually be self-seeking. I watch one mother work constantly to provide everything for her children. I pity her for how hard she works, yet I notice that she does not really want her children to be successful on their own without her.
Is her work really for them? Or, is her hard work the way she manipulates them into doing what she wants?
Also, things that appear to be self-seeking can really be selfless. My friend forces her grown up brothers and sisters to be responsible for their own accounts and does not give her family money all the time. Is she selfish? She would explain that she is trying to teach her own children to work, and trying to help a younger brother to be responsible enough to hold down a job and raise a family later.
To me, this is selfless action. It is not self-seeking.
I have come to think the essence of self-seeking is rebellion. It is trying to get what we want more than what God wants. Self-seeking people run away from responsibilities. Self-seeking people put their own reasoning above the commands of the Bible.
Self-seeking people do the easiest things and the things that will make them come out looking good.
Self-seeking is the opposite of seeking Christ.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.