• Matt Beaney

#602 (17/5/22) LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING



‘Love… is not rude (does not dishonour others), it is not self-seeking…’ (13:5)

We live in a self-obsessed culture. I don’t think that the human heart has got any more evil than it has ever been. However, the tools and the time to pursue selfish ends have certainly increased. We now take around 100 million selfies a day. The average millennial (Born 1982-2000) will take around 25,700 selfies in their life-time. We all have a tendency to narcism; I don’t know if you’re the same as me, but whenever I look at a photo the first person I normally look for is myself! How do I look? This is understandable, however, excessive attention to self can become very poisonous.


Self-seeking (zéteó) means to seek, search for, desire, require and demand our will. The ESV translates this: ‘It does not insist on its own way’ (ESV)


Rudeness, that we looked at yesterday, stems from being self-seeking; the self-seeking are rude because they speak, dress and serve their own interests so are rude and inconsiderate to others.


Selfishness follows from the previous aspects of love: If we are ‘envious’, ‘boastful’ and ‘prideful’, we will be rude and self-seeking. If we are full of ourselves and are seeking to raise our own status we will not be considerate of others in our speech, dress and service. We read:

‘Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God – even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.’ (1 Corinthians 10:33-34)

If we are selfish, we will cause others to stumble. We will cause members of our church to stumble; we may discourage them; we may tempt them to sin; we may set a bad example and lead them into destructive behaviour or habits.


If we are selfish, we will also cause those who are outside of the church and of faith to stumble; our words and behaviour can make the gospel look unattractive.


RESPONSE

Love is not self-seeking. Love is others seeking. Love considers the needs of others. the unselfish ‘try to please everyone in every way’ the are ‘not seeking their own but the good of many so that they may be saved’.

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians, looking at the next two aspects of love.


Please read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7


last week we looked at how love 'does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.' These are poisonous to our relationships. This week, we are considering the next two facets: 'love is not rude or self-seeking'.


i. LOVE IS NOT RUDE

Rudeness is to speak and act unbecomingly. To behave shamefully often sexually.

It's Immodest and tempts others to sin with our appearance, words etc. Rudeness is commonplace. Modern programming is filled with expletives. Our screens give the message that sex is free, easy and without consequences.


ii. LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING

Self-seeking is to seek, search for, desire, require and demand our will. If we are self-seeking, we will inevitably be rude because we are inconsiderate of others.


Instead of being rude and self-seeking, we, like Christ, are to seek the best for others by using our spiritual gifts, our words etc. to build the local church.


Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) This section on love is about the correct use of spiritual gifts; how will avoiding rudeness and self-seeking ensure that we use our gifts in a healthy manner?

iii) In what ways are we to use our words in order to love others? Do you have any personal experience of this?

iv) Why is listening to others and seeking to understand them so important to love?

SIV - What effect will the avoidance of rudeness and self-seeking have on our witness?

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.










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