Love Does Not Insist On Its Own Way

The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.

Defining Someone Who Insists on Their Own Way

This self-seeking attribute characterizes one who looks for their own comfort and joy. This person forces other people to adjust to him and not the other way around. Someone who seeks their own way loves personal gratification, because their way is the only way.

You could say that this attribute is a summary of the previous six descriptions in I Corinthians 13:4-5a. An impatient person is someone who is seeking their own way. A kind person is not seeking their own way. Someone who envies is not seeking their own way. A boaster and arrogant person is not seeking their own way. Someone who is rude is not seeking their own way. It is not loving to seek your own way.

A Biblical Example of Insisting on Your Own Way

In I Corinthians 14:12, Paul writes, “So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.” We are never to come to church, join a church, or serve in a church to expand our own kingdom. We aren’t to commit ourselves to “getting our name out there” or accumulate greater personal influence. Our way is not to be our agenda. Love doesn’t seek it’s own but the way of others and the Lord.

A Biblical Example of Someone Who DOES NOT Seek Their Own Way

To locate a positive example you can look at I Corinthians 9. Paul was explaining the right of pastoral compensation and the privilege to give to those who labor among you in ministry, but Paul also knew there were times and circumstances where that might be a burden to a church. So he said,

What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel” (I Cor 9:18).

Paul didn’t seek his own way. He didn’t demand a paycheck or a form of compensation. The Gospel in the lives of the Corinthians was the only way he wanted to seek.

Jesus said, “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28). Jesus came to not seek His own way but the way of God and the benefit of us. Love does not seek it’s own way.

Final Thoughts

In his book Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, Donald Whitney has a chapter where he asks the question, “Are you more loving?” In this chapter, he interacts with I Corinthians 13 a little and writes,

“When love grows colder, our sin increasingly manifests itself and we look more unlike Jesus. We lose patience easily, whereas I Corinthians 13:4 says that ‘Love suffers long.’ Unkindness becomes common, yet love ‘is kind.’ We become sinfully envious of the advantages and privileges of others, perhaps even of those within our own family; conversely, ‘love does not envy.’ When challenged about our lack of love, we quickly and quite confidently list all the sacrifices and other proofs of our love, and yet ‘love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.’ As our hearts harden against love, we become less courteous, especially to those closest to us, in contrast to love which ‘does not behaved rudely’ (I Corinthians 13:5). We begin to consider ourselves and our ‘rights’ as more important than others and their needs, whereas love ‘does not seek its own.’ When love is in decline we are more easily angered, but love ‘is not provoked.’ A lack of love is often faultfinding, and it mentally keeps score of offenses, but love ‘thinks no evil.’”[1]

Our love, as Whitney warns, should be progressing, not the opposite.

Love

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[1] Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health, pg. 43

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