This post is just the beginning of my thoughts concerning this question. The seed was planted in a conversation I had with Mel concerning the word, “love”. Through the last 24 hours I’ve mulled “love” around in my head. This question started to form as I was preparing for a meeting I will have later this evening with my youth leaders. We’ve been reading together “The Quest for Character” by John MacArthur this school year. In it he has a section on Galatians 5:22,23 – perhaps better known as the fruit of the Spirit.
Love, of course, is what heads this grocery list that makes up the fruit of the Spirit. However, just preceding that Paul has another list: the works of the flesh. (v.19-21) As I read through this list I came to realize that each and every one of these ‘works’ are selfish in nature:
- Immorality? I want to please my self
- Sorcery? I want control
- Anger? I want my way
- Drunkenness? I want to feel good / forget my troubles / numb myself
On and on the list can go. Each and every work listed is selfish in nature and anti-love. Love, as MacArthur defines it, is a deliberate willingness to serve others and give freely of oneself (Quest; p.82). I cannot imagine a situation in which love would selfish – but this is still rolling around in my mind. What say you concerning the selfishness of love? Is there such a thing? Can love be selfish?