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Nine Fruits of the Holy spirit (1) To Bear the Fruit of Spirit
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쏝ut the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23 ...

Spiritual Love (7) Love Does Not Seek Its Own

Manmin News   No. 693
May 09, 2021

쏬ove is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Today, we are more than ever in need of spiritual love that puts others' interests ahead of our own. Selfishness prevails increasingly more in this world, and people care only about themselves.
Some put harmful chemicals even in the powdered milk for infants. They sell out technology that holds significance of national scale. Though not as dramatic as these cases, we can check ourselves in our daily lives as to whether we try to serve the interests of others or those of ours first.

1. Spiritual Love Seeks Others' Benefit

Suppose we are going to eat something with our colleagues. Some insist on what they want to eat; others go for what others want, but they are not comfortable. There are also those who ask what others want, and they enjoy that menu with them.
In a meeting, some people try to persuade others until others agree with them. Some others are not so stubborn about their own opinions, but they don't really like others' opinions either. There are also people who genuinely listen to others' opinions and try to follow them, even if they are different from their own opinions. These differences come from the amount of love they have.
If there is strife due to different opinions, it's because people insist on their own ideas and seek their own. Between the husband and wife, if they only think of their own standpoint, they have conflicts because they can't understand each other. If they put themselves in the shoes of others, they can maintain peace. Peace is broken when they insist on their own viewpoints.
If you love others, you always put others ahead of you. Most mothers would feel better if others say their daughters are more beautiful than the mother, rather than hearing their daughters look just like the mother. They find it happier if the children eat something delicious, rather than they themselves eating something nice. They want their children to be smarter, more recognized, and more loved by others than they are. If we can give this kind of love to everybody, how pleased God would be!

2. Abraham Sought Others' Benefits

Seeking others' benefit comes from sacrificial love. We can consider Abraham as a person who sought the benefit of others and not his own.
In Genesis chapter 13 we read about Abraham and his nephew Lot. When Abraham left his hometown his nephew Lot followed him. Lot received blessings being with Abraham who was loved by God. They had great wealth: not just silver and gold but so many cattle that there were disputes over water between Abraham's herdsmen and Lot's herdsmen.
Abraham let Lot choose first because he didn't want the peace to be broken (Gen. 13:9). Canaan Land at the time didn't have enough grass or water, so yielding land was same as yielding one's right of survival. Abraham let Lot choose first because he loved him to that extent. Lot chose the valley of Jordan that had plenty of water and was fertile.
Now, did Abraham feel uncomfortable because Lot chose the better land? He didn't. He was just happy that his nephew Lot took the better land.
In Abraham's viewpoint, he had the right to choose first because he was the senior and Lot had received blessings only thanks to him. However, he sincerely wanted his nephew to have the better land. That is why he could maintain peace and receive greater blessings from God. He came to have so much wealth and influence that he was respected by the kings. He was called a friend of God because of his good heart.
Those who seek others' benefit serve the interest of others, and for this reason they will definitely receive blessings from God. Giving something of our own to our beloved ones gives us greater joy than anything else. It is joy that is felt only by those who have given something precious to somebody. Jesus enjoyed this greatest joy.

3. To Enjoy Greatest Happiness

We can also possess greatest joy and happiness if we cultivate perfect love. In order to cultivate perfect love with which we can enjoy greatest happiness, we have to consider others ahead of ourselves.
We have to put our neighbors, God, the Lord, and the church before ourselves. In the family, we must care for other family members first. Then, God will take care of us. When we serve the interest of others, God gives us back something better.
That is why it is said giving is more blessed than receiving (Acts 20:35). Of course, misunderstanding this message, we should not serve others or the kingdom of God to the point of harming our health. God will be pleased with our faithfulness but our body needs to rest sometimes. We should also have time to pray and fast and learn the word of God, which is taking care of our own souls.
Some people concentrate on church activities too much and cause uncomfortable situations for the people around them. Some may neglect their job only because they are fasting. They neglect their family just to focus on church work. Housewives do not take care of their family, or students neglect their studies in order to do more church work.
They might think they are not seeking their own because they are working for God, but in a strict sense they are seeking their own. Even though they are faithful to God's kingdom, they are not faithful in all God's household. Therefore, they didn't do all the duties as God's children. They did what they wanted to do, but they neglected the things they didn't want to do.
In order not to seek our own in all things, we must receive the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the heart of God and leads us to the truth (John 16:13). Therefore, we can live for the glory of God all the time only if we follow His guidance all the time.
And in order to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, it is imperative we cast away evil from our heart. Furthermore, if we cultivate spiritual love in our heart, we can have wisdom of goodness and discern the will of God in every situation. Then, we can be faithful to God's kingdom as much as we want, because we'll be healthy even as our soul prospers. In order to be loved by all our neighbors and family members, we should always seek their benefit prior to our own.

Dear brothers and sisters,
God doesn't say it is enough to seek the benefit of others first. We should be able to seek the benefit of not just those whom we love and those who are helpful to us, but also of those who are giving us a hard time and causing us harm.
If we want to avoid those who are giving us a hard time, we should realize that it means we still seek our own. Spiritual love is to sacrifice ourselves and seek the benefit of even those who are completely different from us, and even in seemingly impossible situations.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will serve others' interest first even though they are very different from us.




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