Summary: Love’s Greatest Enemies – Selfishness, Envy, Scorekeeping, Fear.
Love’s Greatest Enemies
We live in a world that speaks in great volumes about love and the importance of it, as well as presenting a myriad of books and volumes of information on how to gain and maintain love. We as Christians realize that the presentation of Love from the World compared to the Love from the Word of God are 2 quite different things.
We are going to look today at a few of Love’s Greatest Enemies and bring them out in the open so that in turn we can defeat these enemies when they rear their ugly heads in our own lives, because they will quite frequently.
Let’s begin by reading what is often called, “The Love Chapter” in the Bible.
1 Cor. 13:1-13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,  but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
As we read through that chapter, there are many enemies to Love, but today we are going to look at just 4 of them.
The first enemy to Love we see today is:
I. SELFISHNESS –
1 Cor. 13:5a - It is not rude, it is not self-seeking…
This might seem like an odd one to start with, but I heard something one time that kind of stuck with me when someone asked what the opposite of love is. The seemingly obvious answer is Hate, however when we really begin to look at Love, and realize at it’s essence Love is about giving of ourselves to make the life or lives of someone else better, Selfishness really does define the opposite of Love.
The greatest personal definition of love we know is Jesus Christ Himself. He did not come into this world to see what was in it for Him, and in fact came to seek the best for others around Him.
Luke 19:10 - For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
Even when Christ was on the cross, we see that He prayed prayers of love and forgiveness for those who were gambling over His robe at the foot of the cross, and He also made sure that His mother was being cared for as He was feeling the torturous pain of the death of a criminal.
Selfishness will never be the basis for a happy marriage, working relationship, friendship, or any endeavor involving getting along with others.
One of the reasons I have been a proponent of Sports is that it creates within people the realization that for a team to be truly successful, it involves each individual performing the duties assigned to them.
In our selfishness we realize at times that the more selfish we become, the less happiness and peace we enjoy, and the more we get simply leads to wanting more and more because without love and giving at the center of our lives, we become simply a lake of stagnant water only taking in but never giving out.
We soon become trapped in our own desire to protect what “we” have earned, and the rights that “we” have garnered at the expense of others, all the time believing that we “should” be happy, but we are not.
We will talk about giving next week, but one of the things giving does for us is that it makes us just a bit more Christ each time we give of our time, talent, treasure, and yes, even give up our rights for the sake of someone else.