Virtue of the Month: Unselfishness

Unselfishness Over the last five month’s BLOG posts, we have looked at the Virtues of Love listed in 1 Corinthians 13. We have referenced Henry Drummond’s essay, The Greatest Thing in the World. We started with Patience…Love passive (February 15) and moved on to its twin, Kindness…Love active (March 15). In April, we unpacked Generosity…the virtue that is written on God’s heart (John 3:16) and in May we studied the shy virtue: Humility. June discussed Courtesy and all the fine things that go with being Polite.

In July, the focus is on the virtue of Unselfishness. I Corinthians 13 states it like this, “Love seeketh not her own” or “Love is not self-seeking”. The Message translation says, “Love doesn’t demand its own way.” This virtue is central to living a Christ-like life.  But as we look around at the world and see how everyone interacts with each other on the highways or parking lots it is obvious that the virtue of unselfishness is in short supply. The default state of the human heart is self-centeredness. We want what we want! Our mantra is all too often, “My way…or the highway!” Think about how many times in our relationships at work we seek our own betterment at the expense of someone else’s concerns. In our relationships, consider how much better they would be if our first response was,  “Honey, how can I help?” or “Sweetie, what do you think?”

Unselfishness, (not demanding our own way), was the center of Jesus’ life on earth. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus previewed the agony of the Cross. He knew He was going to die a terrible death and that He would be separated from His Father. He knew He would experience Hell, for our sakes. Yet when He politely asked the Father if the cup could pass from Him, His response was…unselfishly spoken, “Not my will but Thine be done.” Jesus went willingly to the Cross and took all our sin upon His shoulders; in return, we received all of the goodness and holiness that was rightfully His. This is the beauty and power of the Cross. It all centered on His obedience and self-giving, not selfishness and self-centeredness!

True happiness is never found in getting stuff. Accumulating things or putting ourselves first never achieves genuine greatness. When we consider truly great persons, we always gravitate towards those personality’s whose first impulse was to give, not get. Try implementing this virtue into your life for 30 days. Say, “How can I help” first and see how much better your life and relationships become.