Love is not rude, is not selfish, - 1 Corinthians 13:5A (NCV)
It was a wonderful Sunday afternoon, Randy thought, as he walked through the fellowship dinner line at church. He had just finished giving a great sermon on how love is not selfish and now he was sharing in the wonderful cooking of so many of those in the church. Even the teens, at least Mindy and Cindy, were commenting on the sermon and how they needed to work on their sharing.
After making it through the line and eating twice what he should have, Randy decided he better not go back for deserts, that was until he caught the aroma of a fresh baked pie. The aroma came from the table behind him and he wasn't the only one to catch drift of it and what he heard in relation to that pie made him wonder if the Miller twins had truly been listening.
“Is that wonderful aroma coming from you?” Randy heard Cindy ask her sister, “It smells delicious,” she continued, “What is it?” “It's you're favorite.” Mindy replied, “It's a … fresh … baked … blueberry … pie. And I made by myself.”
“YUM!” Cindy exclaimed, “You're such a wonderful sister. “Thank you.” Mindy replied. “When do I get some?” Cindy asked next but what Randy heard after that, well, it wasn't pleasant. “Get some?” Mindy snorted, “You gotta be kidding. “I don't care if your my sister, I made this pie by MYSELF and I am going to eat it by MYSELF.”
“Then why did you bring it here?” Cindy demanded to know. “Why do you think I brought?” Mindy laughed, “I brought it to tease you because I know you love blue … berry … pie.” “That's not nice!” Cindy snapped at her sister. “I don’t care.” Mindy laughed again, “It’s MY pie and I’ll do with it as I please. I'm not sharing with anybody, not even you.”
Randy sadly shook his head, “I guess Mindy didn't learn a thing.” he thought to himself, “I wonder if Cindy did.” Of course, it didn't take long for Randy to find out. “That’s too bad.” He heard Cindy say, “I guess I’ll just have to eat this all too my self.” “Eat what?” Mindy asked, temporally forgetting about her pie.
“Oh,” Cindy smirked, “Just this banana split I thought of sharing with you since they are your favorite, but you probably don’t want any since you have a whole blueberry pie to eat all by yourself.” “Well, I, um, um.” Mindy stuttered, “Are you sure you won’t share?” “How about some of that pie?” Cindy asked.
“Pie!” Mindy exclaimed, “What pie? I don’t smell any pie? Besides, you know I would share with you if I had one.” “Wow Randy thought “Now she's lying through her teeth. What next?” “You're just a big liar.” Cindy snorted at her sister. “Oh, yeah,” Mindy exclaimed, “Well, take this.” and then Mindy stood up and through the pie into her sister's face.
That didn't sit well with Cindy and she grabbed her banana split, covered it in hot sauce and stuck it down Mindy's back. Before Mindy could retaliate Randy saw their dad step in. “Well, now,” Randy heard him say, “Since you couldn't share you treats, you're going to have to share the punishment for your behavior.” and then he marched them out of the church building.
How selfish can a person be? How unthoughtful of others can a person be? How unsharing and uncaring can a person be? David had been on the run because the king wanted him dead. The king wanted him dead not because he had done wrong but because he had served faithfully and the king was jealous. While David was on the run and unable to settle down in any one place, he didn't let that stop him from serving his country and protecting he fellow country men of which Nabal was one.
The story of Nabal can be found in 1 Samuel 25 if you would like to read it in full. Here I'll just try to summarize the story.
Nabal was very rich owning 3000 sheep and 1000 goats and had a beautiful and wise wife named Abigail. Unfortunately, Nabal was not well behaved and was harsh towards others. Now the time had come for Nabal to have his sheep shaved and was in Carmel, (the place)
David had been protecting his flocks behind the scenes and decided that it was time to send some men to see Nabal and ask for some handouts in return. What the men received was a harsh no and they were sent away and that didn't set well with David. Nor did it sit well with Nabal's servants.
As a result of Nabal's treatment of David's men, David prepared to go to war against Nabal while Nabal's servants went to Abigail knowing that Nabal's response was going to bring trouble. Quick to see that the servants were right, Abigail responded by loading up lots of food and immediately heading out to intercept David, all without telling her husband.
When Abigail saw David, she hurried and fell before him on her face and bowed to the ground and she pleaded with him not to make war on her husband, her household and the servants. Upon hearing Abigail's plea, David blessed the Lord, restrained himself from going to war and accepted Abigail's gift of food.
Latter, Nabal found out what had happened and to make this long story short, God took Nabal's life and David got Abagail as a wife.
1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us that love is not selfish or self seeking. It may vary depending on the version you read but the idea is still the same. Selfishness comes in many forms including that of Cindy, Mindy and Nabal.
The opposite of selfishness could be what we find in ....
- Romans 15:1-3 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me." (ESV)
- Philippians 2:4 - Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (ESV)
- 1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (ESV)
- 2 Corinthians 5:15 Christ died for all so that those who live would not continue to live for themselves. He died for them and was raised from the dead so that they would live for him. (NCV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- In what ways are you selfish?
- In what ways do you put others first?