Love Is Not Self-Seeking

By Laura Courtney

Ever hear the phrase “You do you”? It’s a common one these days, right up there with “Love yourself”, “Do whatever makes you happy” and “Just be yourself”.

These are all nice enough sounding ideas and theories – don’t just fit in with the crowd, embrace what makes you different, and be happy with who you are. But the one major flaw of all of this is we then are seeking to find contentment, happiness, joy and even purpose in our own selves.

And in a culture where the mindset is “I can do whatever I want to do in order to make myself happy”, we put all our focus and attention on ourselves that we no longer care about any side effects or hurt we cause in the process. And the problem with that is we are not created to live on our own or by our own means.

If society and the world around us keep calling for us to seek our own happiness in our job, our education, our relationships, our clothes, our home, our looks, our feelings and ourselves alone we will come up empty and disappointed every single time. And when we only care about ourselves we don’t even see the hope, joy and beauty of everything around us.

If we begin to believe the lie that we don’t have to change our attitude or beliefs and that doing anything that makes us feel good will lead to our ultimate happiness, we are far from the truth. And if we are not careful, the line between what’s right and what makes us happy begin to blur. And this is exactly what Satan wants us to do. These lies are straight from his mouth. To believe that we alone hold the key to our happiness is the greatest lie we can ever believe.

God did not create us as our own. “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) And He did not make a single mistake when He made each one of us. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:13-14) Yet He desires us to not remain in our sins, but to come to His goodness that He has created us for. “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

I encourage and challenge you this week as we focus on what it means to love without being self-seeking, to turn away from the lies that tell you to follow your own emotions, desires and self-centered focus and instead turn to a God who has created you for a greater purpose than yourself. We cannot find worth, purpose or happiness in and of ourselves. We find it only when we look past ourselves entirely.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9)

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