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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Selfless Love

Love is talked about MANY times in the Bible. Love, as described in the Bible, is very different from the worldly definition of love. Biblical love is selfless, unconditional, patient, kind, boast less, proud less, trusts always, hopes always, and always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8) There is a  thing of too much self-love. Scripture doesn't tell us to love ourselves; it's assumed that people already love themselves. That's why in the statement, "love your neighbor as you love yourself" essentially means for us to treat people well. In fact, society already loves their selves too much and this is the problem.

Take, for example, Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable, there was only one who showed to be true to the man who was in need out of three people; the Samaritan, a priest, and a Levite. The priest and the Levite refused to help the man in need. They failed to show love to the injured man, which resulted in loving themselves too much. Here they put their own interests first and not of the man who  was injured. The Samaritan chose to true love, Christ-like love. He gave his time, energy, resources, and money without hesitation and was focused on outward, not inward.

Jesus told this story as an illustration of what it means to 'love thy neighbor'. We're supposed to push away from thoughts of ourselves and care for others. We are supposed to value others above ourselves, and look for the interest of those around us. Not for what is overall best for ourselves. According to Philippians 2: 3-4, loving others requires humility, value of others, and a conscious effort to put others first. Anything less than this is selfish and vain- it falls short of the standards of Christ. In addition, we should love ourselves to a degree and not think of ourselves as worthless. The Bible does say we are of great worth because God created us in His image. This plays as a balancing act.

Let's take a look at what it means to be self-centered. The definition means when one is solely concerned with one's own interests. Usually, they are self engrossed and egotistical. No wonder it's an  unappealing trait. Most of the time, those who are self-centered don't take the time to understand another's point of view. A person who has this trait struggle to maintain a sense of compassion towards others or they have an internal need for acceptance by others.

As an example, Kim can be kind hearted and caring when she wants. However, most of the time you'll find her complaining about the things in life that aren't going her way or the way she believes it should be. You'll find her reaching for attention as a way to self assure. This could be done by her repeated posts on social media of selfies and the "I'm so wonderful" type posts.

Most of the time, those who post these types of things are looking for the attention. They're also known as attention seekers. Those who are self-centered are self-driven, more concerned about their image and the materialistic things around them, than any other issues in the world. Lying and manipulation are core to a self-centered person. They tend to lie and manipulate those around them to get what they want.

I personally think the self-centeredness is a sin, which should be avoided. As a Christian, we should be pushing to help, reach out to, and guide those around us. Manipulation should be avoided at all costs.

How do self-centered people make you feel? Does this personality trait make you want to be friends or does it make you want to get away from that particular person?

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