Key Word:- LOVE
Title:- True Love Builds a Heaven
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
So we need to acknowledge ourselves, and to know ourselves and correctly love ourselves. I believe this is good and Biblically correct. The challenge we have to this appears to be the great paradox which is that 'the purpose of self, is others!' We shall know when we have loved ourselves wrongly, selfishly and dishonourably when 'me', 'my' and 'I,' lie heavily on our lips. Listen to how you speak about yourself today. Who is at the center? Friends remember, “Love does not seeks its own.” It is imperative to love yourself, but not seek your own. Eh? Love yourself, but do not seek your own? Now go and work that one out!
William Blake in his poem 'The Clod and the Pebble' begins by writing:
Love seeketh not itself to please
Nor for itself hath any care
But for another gives its ease
And builds a heaven in hell's despair
Now if your spirit cries within you at this point “Ah that's all very altruistic, all very good for some rich philanthropist, some mad monk in a ‘monkery’, some sacrificial nun working in a slum, but for most of us and for me especially, well it's unrealistic and unattainable." Indeed, if you say, “I need to take care of myself afore I can take care of others, after all charity begins at home” then maybe you are in the grip of selfish self love, for selfish love is always sick love.
Friends, I have seen a government in the grip of a remarkable iron lady put this selfish loving into public practice. Communities have been killed and crippled for decades because of such psychopathic sycophantic selfish love. I think those communities touched by such poison might never recover from such a sick and selfish, self ‘love.’
For us today, the final verse of Blake’s ‘The Clod and Pebble’, aptly sums up the results of such isolated and selfish self loving:
Love seeketh only self to please
To bind another to its delight
Joys in anothers loss of ease
And builds a hell in heavens despite
Be sure today, that the way you love yourself, shall either build a heaven or a hell in other people’s lives. So, who shall you seek to please today? Self or others? Honour yourself. Yes! Love yourself. Yes! But choose carefully friends, choose sacrificially, to not please yourself when loving yourself. Did you ge that? Do not please yourself when loving yourself. Now go work that one out in your life today!
Listen:- “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25-26
Pray:-Jesus, this day help me to build heaven in other people’s lives by loving selflessly. Help me to trust You, and in losing myself to You, help me to find myself in You. Amen Lord and amen.