4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. -1 Corinthians 13:5-7
Every man for himself.
That is often what it feels like. (Especially when it came to buying toilet paper at the start of this thing.)
Yet this often natural first inclination is directly opposed to the core of love.
In verse 5 of 1 Corinthians 13, we begin to see what love is not.
As I read through this verse I see so much of myself and the world around me.
Things like chasing false promises of fame, seeking popularity, keeping score, have all taken a toll on my soul during this time.
In our every man for himself mindset, we have created a world of competition. This competition eats away at both community and contentment. It erodes the safety that vulnerability needs in order to help relationships flourish.
When you compare the early church in Acts with this current self-seeking mentality, the difference is striking. In Act 4:32 we see the culture of heaven as we read, “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.” (NLT)
This view of what we own is not our own, is such a stark juxtaposition to our current cultural norm of every man for himself.
During these difficult times we must ask ourselves if we are cultivating the culture of heaven in our lives and the worlds around us, or are we just perpetuating the culture of competition.
For if the love of Christ is to flourish and come to earth as it is in heaven, then we must live and love as if what we own is not our own.
Read Acts 2:42-47 and Philippians 2:1-11. Take some time to compare the culture of heaven that you see in these passages with what you see in our current culture.
Psalm 139:23,24 says,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!”
Are you aware of any hurtful, self-seeking ways in your life right now?
What might be your response?