I created three statements that seemed borderlines heretical for our sermon yesterday (Click here to listen to it). Then I showed how they weren’t truly MY creation, but the Lords. The first one (love like you’re being selfish) we are looking at today. I feel like our selfishness is an awesome example of how to love people we have just allowed our sinful nature to keep reigning in this area… Let’s look at some verses:
- 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
- He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27
- Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
The overall idea here is that we often look around for an example of HOW to love people, yet God has a built in example that is perfect for us. I believe that our selfish nature is truly an example of how to love others which has been majorly perverted by the enemy. It may even show us what our strongest area of loving people is. Perhaps you love buying things for yourself, well maybe you love to give. Perhaps you love cooking and eating for yourself, maybe you would love hospitality. It’s as if we have this great ability/gifting in love we have just been filled with some much pride that we have shifted the focus of that love towards ourselves. It is how our fallen nature has taken love, one of the defining characteristics of God, and turned it into this immense issue in our lives.
Imagine if we were able to empathize when all of the people around us, understanding the other person’s point of view (or at least tried) even if it seems skewed on the surface (we do it for ourselves). In fact, most of the time we don’t truly understand WHY we feel the way we feel. Yet we give ourselves grace and empathize. We don’t truly understand all the background things running in our minds. Yet we give ourselves grace and empathize. We also see how unappreciative we are on most levels yet find great satisfaction in everything we do for ourselves. We look at our actions or plans and they take priority over everything else. What if we were intentional about flipping the script and following 1 Corinthians 10:24: No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. What if we were able to look at other people’s plans or actions and put priority on them over everything else?! Then, we relentlessly pursued bringing joy to those around us.
Unfortunately, though the Bible calls us to love others like we love ourselves we hear the needs of others or see the plans of other people and we forget about them or drop their plans to lower priorities. We obsess over our own needs or plans yet count our friend’s or family’s plans as almost worthless. We have this incredible example but instead of utilizing this tool we build up it’s negative ability. Instead of allowing the Spirit the opportunity to take captive our selfishness and refocus it towards other people, we continue to point our greatest love inward. If we could let the Spirit redirect this love we would find a revival in the Church as it is in loving one another in the same manner that Christ has loved us that shows the world we are Christ’s disciples.
John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Spend 1 minute thanking God for His great love for us which was displayed in Christ’s death and resurrection being applied to your life!! Then spend 2-3 minutes asking the Lord to take your selfishness and reframe it. Ask Him to take whatever selfish tendency you already have and point it outward instead of inward. You already have an incredible ability to love it’s just focused on you. Ask Him to show you that special area you are able to love in and then show you WHO to love on! 🙂
These have been easy lately… because if you prayed that prayer you have your answer. Look at your life and find your strong area of love (whatever you do most for yourself) and do that towards other people. We are taking back the enemies strongholds and reframing the very things he has used to cripple us!!