Love. What is it? (Part 5)
Usually when a person says I love you to another, it can mean anything from “I like you” to “I enjoy your company”. It is not so much the word as the meaning behind the word. In the bible, we read of many occasions that the word love is used but all too often we don’t really understand what it means. The fact of the matter is that we use this word so loosely today that we have lost the true meaning of love. Join us as we answer the question: Love, What is it?
I am not a Greek scholar nor do I profess to be one of the English language either, but I will share some words from the Greek to better illuminate this subject.
In our text today we see that the bible is showing us a different type of love. We see that this type of is the most dangerous and destructive. This type of love doesn’t seek to look outwardly but it focuses inwardly. This type of love makes sure that one self’s own needs are more important that the needs of others.
It’s called: PHILAUTOS Love – This type of love is considered a playful love, which is referred to as affection. It is commonly seen when in the early stages of a relationship.
What does this word really mean? I believe that we see it mentioned here in this passage “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” II Timothy 3:1-7 KJV. Why is selfishness so bad? We will explain in this devotional and explain some possible benefits as well.
- PHILAUTOS Love Defined
Have you ever been around someone whom you wanted to tell something important but it seemed as if they cared more about hear their own voice? Perhaps this type of person is displaying PHILAUTOS Love. Why? There are a few reasons but it all boils down to their desire for pleasure. Sometimes people don’t know or even see that they are this type of person. Here are a few questions to see if you’re a selfish lover:
- When you go shopping do you think of how the thing that you’re about to buy will benefit others?
- Do you desire the things that others have because you want the attention that they are getting?
- Do you take pleasure in bragging about the things that you have more than listening to what others have been blessed with?
- Do you always have to “Win” the conversation, have the last word, be heard above every other person or correct others when they are incorrect or wrong?
- Do you focus more on what you have done to get to you’re position than focusing on how God has brought you there? Are you your own God?
- Is your own desire to please yourself stronger, than your moral behavior? Do you care more about being right than being sensitive to the feelings of others?
- Do you even see that you have hurt others?
- Do you have a heart of thanksgiving? Are you thankful in a way that others know? Or do you just say thank you because it is the proper thing to say when you really could care less?
- PHILAUTOS Love Defectiveness
This type of love is has a multitude of defectives in its application. Those that display this type of love are usually self-centered. They are usually used to getting their own way frequently. They are accustomed to others sharing or deferring the attention or limelight with them. These types of people will usually become very jealous when another people, like themselves, enter the picture.
A person that loves themselves will know and probably struggle with trying to love others but will eventually default back to their baseline behavior. I don’t believe that people are born with selfish behavior so as it being learned. I once saw a young lady in her pre-teens very loving, giving and sensitive to the feelings of others. When I departed her life for a few years her behavior was very different. She had stopped being sensitive to almost cruel and hateful. Her loving and giving nature had been replaced with selfish and almost anticipatory spirit. Her once sweet words that were such a joy to hear had become bitter speech that one almost sought relief. What seemed to transform this woman? I later learned that she had done a few things that had changed her:
- She Changed Her Friends – The bible tells us about what happens in Psalms 1:1-6 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
The bible tells us to stay away from unsavory and ungodly characteristics. When we yoke ourselves up to those that have these qualities we begin to adopt some, if not all, of these qualities. If you hang out with flea-ridden dogs, then you may have a flea infestation. It is very difficult to hang out with friends that display evil behavior and not adopt it yourself. Do your friends change you or do they challenge you?
- She Changed Her Focus – Things in this world became more important to her than remaining true to her natural behavior. How many times have you noticed a person “change” because they hang around specific people or join themselves to specific groups? They have fed their personal desires.
How do we fix this behavior? Is this type of love completely destructive? What can we do to change our own hearts if we are selfish? Is this selfish behavior helpful or productive? In tomorrows devotional we will discuss what it means to be selfish yet sharing. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.