Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love does not insist on its own way.
In other words, love is not selfish. As we’ve seen in the other descriptions, there is not a particle of selfishness in love. It seeks the good of others above self. It’s as though the inspired word of the Holy Spirit wants to underscore that thought for emphasis. In case we missed it before, we see it spelled out explicitly here – love does not insist on its own way…it is not selfish.
Being “not selfish” requires humility. Not assertiveness. This flies in the face of much of what we are instructed by the world. Stand up for yourself. Claim your rights (even as a Christian!). Look out for yourself. At least, take care of yourself! But God instructs us differently. In Philippians 2:3-8, He says
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross
Nothing from selfishness or empty conceit. Wow. That’s a tall order indeed! But that is what love does. It submits to God’s way, gladly yielding to His will and obeys His Word. How can we do that? It seems impossible!
It is only possible if we trust Him. If we know that He is our defense, that He is at work to accomplish that which is good for us, and that His ways are always good. Then we can abandon our own selfish agenda and entrust ourselves to Him. Because He loves us and gave His Son for us…and freely gives us all things.
That’s love worth trusting.