WEEK 5: Love does not seek its own
1 Cor 13:5 “[Love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil” (NKJV)
Have you thought about this statement really closely? It is possible for us to not seek our own, but is that enough? If I don’t seek my own right/vengeance/benefit, but just choose to be neutral (and not get involved in some situations), am I doing what God expects of me? Jesus wasn’t neutral, He always stood out. What made Jesus stand out? Generosity!
More than once in the Gospels, the authors imply that Jesus was tired, yet it is said that He consciously chose to serve whoever came across His path. Mike Burnard (founder of INcontext) makes mention of the following quote concerning ‘generosity’: “Giving a person what he/she needs is charity; giving what you need, is generosity”. Think about this for a minute. Have you given someone your undivided attention when you needed to rest? Have you given your only meal for the day to a hungry friend? Have you let someone make a phone call using the last of your airtime? Have you prayed for someone while craving prayer yourself? The list goes on…
Jesus’ generosity took many forms: He healed the sick, redeemed people from spiritual bondage, multiplied food to feed thousands, quietened the storm. Wow! Just review those verbs again: ‘healed’, ‘redeemed’, ‘multiplied’, ‘quietened’. Those are tall orders for ordinary humans like you and me, or are they? Can we do it if Jesus did it? Now I’m pushing it, aren’t I? Think about it…if Jesus was generous in those ways, and He had perfect faith in God, does that maybe mean that we also need faith to be generous? I think so. If I give away my only meal for the day, I must know in faith that God will provide for me, otherwise I’ll keep it to myself, right? The same applies for any other example of generosity.
So, how strong is your faith? Is your generosity on par with your faith in God?