It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about the abundant life one experiences when he or she walks in true Christ-like love. The last post on this subject dealt with honoring others by being polite and hospitable rather than rude and discourteous. The next description of love found in 1 Corinthians 13:5 is that “it is not self-seeking” (NIV). Other versions define this type of love as not demanding its own way or insisting on its own way (NLT and ESV).
There’s a reason I’ve delayed writing about this particular subject and it may come as a shock to some, but it’s because I am a selfish person. Oh, how that hurts to admit, but I believe this hits home for everyone. If you are a believer in Christ, this is a battle that rages within your soul. We are born thinking only of ourselves and the world teaches us to look out for number one- ME! But throughout scripture, we are told to put others before ourselves. Paul wrote about his own struggles in wanting to do what was right but sin was still present in his flesh (Romans 7: 15-25). As long as we live on this fallen planet, we will deal with this dilemma. But just as Paul realized this truth about himself, he also knew and declared that God delivered him through Jesus Christ our Lord!
There are so many avenues that I can be a selfless person and love others. My immediate family is the first place to start. As a wife, I can put my husband’s needs above my own. I have been married to a man who understands putting others first in the context of marriage. He always says, “I want to do what you want to do.” I know that he really doesn’t always prefer my way, but he still puts his desires on the back burner for me. After thirty-five years of wedded bliss (not really, but after this many years the hard times seem to fade into memories that the Lord allowed to make us stronger and grow closer to Him), I realize that God has gifted me with a man that I do not deserve. Even if my husband did not exhibit this type of love, I am called to love without demanding my own way. This should be my daily prayer.
Being selfless seems to come a lot easier as a mother but as a young woman, I almost sacrificed this wonderful privilege due to my own selfish desires. For the first thirty-two years of my life what Cindy wanted was all that mattered. I could not see that sacrificing my hopes and dreams to become a mother was exactly what God had planned for me. After twelve years of discontentment in the corporate and academic worlds, I left the workplace to be a stay at home mom with my then two-year-old son. I had never felt so in tune with being in God’s will for my life as I did during those seventeen years of caring for and serving my husband and son. This was a hard lesson to learn, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything this world has to offer.
It’s been a little over twenty years since I made that “selfless” decision to quit working outside the home. Just as a succulent peach has its fruitful season, we all go through different stages in life. Presently, working part-time outside the home and making time for my elderly, widowed mother has brought on new challenges, but if I remember to walk in love that does not demand my way, l will once again be in tuned to God’s will for my life.
So, if you’re like me and can sing the song “I Was Always on My Mind” (I don’t think Willie Nelson will mind the addition to the title), press on because we have a “Deliverer” to sing about and his name is Jesus!