Selfish love or God’s love: Which do you have?

Selfish love or God’s love: Which do you have?

What are the motives and results of my love? Do I have a love that only thinks about myself or a life-giving, unselfish love?

4/15/20224 min

By ActiveChristianity

Selfish love or God’s love: Which do you have?

Selfish love

Selfish love is all about “I”, “Me” and “Mine”. A person whose love is all about himself is like a spider in the middle of its web, holding all the threads in his hand. Everything is about himself. “I” am king, “I” am god, “I” must be loved, honoured and praised—otherwise you will feel “my” anger. “I” won’t give away anything for free. “I” must first be certain that “I” will be fully paid before I do something. “I” need everything and have a right to everything.

Selfish love puts all its effort into what “I” want. None of its effort flows out to others. It is all just about myself.

God’s love

God’s love lets His sun shine on the righteous and the unrighteous. He sends rain over the evil and the good. All His goodness flows out—nothing is too good to be given away. Just as the sun shines unselfishly on everyone, so God’s love shines brightly and warmly and gives us everything we need to live a godly life. (2 Peter 1:3.)

Selfish love destroys

A person who is filled with selfish love cares only for himself. Everything is just about himself. Because he doesn’t care about things and people around him, he soon becomes the victim of the destructive power of this selfish love - which is Satan himself. Selfish love traps its victim and destroys it in a horrible way.

God’s love gives and creates life

The Holy Spirit has poured out the love of God in our hearts. This love is always looking for ways to make it good for others. God’s love gives us the whole world to work in, but selfish love can only find one person, this “Me”, and even hurts and destroys that person.

God’s love longs to share and give; it creates life and joy wherever it is. Everyone “loves” this love, but selfish love is hated everywhere.

If we want to help people, we must be able to see what people need. When we help people freely and unselfishly, they are very surprised. They get a little look at the love that gives and does not want anything for itself. This love is totally different from the earthly love that they are used to. That is why it is written that the goodness of God leads us to sorrow over our sins and repent. We experience a love that comes from outside of ourselves—one that is much greater than our selfish love.

This love has a wonderful effect: People who experience this love, also want to have it. God’s love plants something of His own nature in us. We turn away from selfish love towards God’s love and then only want to do and share those things that God’s love has given us.

Sharing heavenly treasures

A man who is rich in this world can, if he is kind, do much good and bring joy to many people. In the same way, a person who has gathered riches in God can use those riches to bring joy to many. If earthly riches can make people happy for a time in this world, how much more valuable are the heavenly riches which can make us happy for all eternity?

You will find the love of God when you really want to have it with all your heart. Freely we have received it, and freely we can share it with others.

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This article is based on an article by Johan Oscar Smith which first appeared under the title “What is love?” in BCC’s periodical "Skjulte Skatter" (Hidden Treasures) in September 1917. It has been translated from the Norwegian and is adapted with permission for use on this website. © Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag