Summary: As we continue to learn to make love a way of life, in this sermon we learn how to have a love that is not selfish.
A. There’s a story told about a little boy and his sister who were riding a rocking horse together.
1. As you can imagine, it was a little crowded on that rocking horse with the two of them on it.
2. After a few minutes rocking like that, the little boy said, “If one of us would get off this rocking horse, there would be more room for me!”
3. That, my friends, is the way of selfishness – it is the way of the world – and it is the current focus of our “ME” generation.
4. But God calls us to choose a different way – a better way – actually a more excellent way – the way of love.
B. Today we are continuing in our “All You Need is Love” series, and we want to continue to learn how to make love a way of life.
1. Today we want to explore what it means that love is not selfish.
C. We turn again to 1 Corinthians 13 and Paul’s definition of love that we find there.
1. Verses 4 and 5 read: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
2. We have already explored a number of those characteristics of love, but today we want to focus on the one that says, “Love…is not self-seeking.” (NIV 1984)
3. Let’s look at how other translations render the verse:
a. “Love…does not demand its own way” (NLT).
b. “Love…does not insist on its own way” (ESV).
c. “Love…does not seek its own” (NASB).
d. “Love…is not selfish” (HCSB).
e. “Love…is not self-serving” (NET).
f. “Love isn’t always, ‘me first’ ” (The Message).
4. Let’s go back to our opening illustration with the rocking horse.
a. If a person has a love that is not selfish, self-seeking or self-serving, then rather than say, “If one of us would get off this rocking horse, there would be more room for me,” they would say, “let me get off this rocking horse so there will be more room for you.”
b. Can we all admit that putting others first does not come naturally?
D. If we are going to make progress in developing a love that is not selfish, we have to start with an honest assessment of ourselves.
1. It’s like the old saying you’ve probably heard many times before, “The first step to dealing with a problem is to admit you have the problem.”
2. So the first step in dealing with selfishness, so that we can have a love that is not selfish, is to admit that we are selfish.
3. The truth of the matter is that all of us are infected with the selfishness bug.
a. It is a malady that makes the Black Plague appear as mild as the common cold.
b. If you tally the death tolls of all infections, fevers, and epidemics since the beginning of time, you will still fall short of the number of fatalities, physical and spiritual, claimed by the single infirmity of selfishness.