In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul says that there is only one stat that ultimately matters in your walk with God - one thing that that truly tells the world who you are, and that is your love (or lack thereof). The real question is, how do I grow in love? What does love look like? What does love do, and what does it not do? What is love?
4. Love Isn’t All About Me
Have you ever seen those bumper stickers that say something like, “My kid is an honor student at Snooty Heights Private School”? I can’t stand those bumper stickers because who knows… I might have actually liked your kid if you hadn’t put that stupid sticker on your car.
Or how about this - do you have one of those people in your facebook timeline who posts a million statuses every day, and they’re all about how awesome and perfect their day was and how awesome and perfect their family and friends are? You know what I’m talking about… they write stuff like this: “Today I made an all organic dinner that was amazing right after finishing my yoga-master-training-course and picking up little Timmy from junior symphony rehearsals. Just another great day! ;)” - I mean, right?
I guess the worst of all is just hanging out with someone who simply can’t stop talking about themselves. You know these people, don’t you? Every conversation finds a way back into their favorite subject… themselves. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about. Everything from Russian politics to marine biology reminds them of that one time when they did this really awesome thing… They’re constantly saying stuff like, “Oh man, have I ever told you about the time I saved city council? Oh I have? Well, let me tell you about it all over again, because I’m just still so amazed that I managed to do that, aren’t you?”
Here’s the thing. None of us can stand to hang with people who only talk about themselves and brag about how awesome they are and obsess on all the things that are interesting and cool about them. You wanna know why we can’t stand to hang with them? Here it is, plain and simple: It makes the rest of us feel like crap.
When a person obsesses on themselves all the time, It makes the people around them feel like their own life is pointless by comparison. How can anyone measure up, right? That person is so amazing and so interesting, that they literally can’t think of anything else to talk about but themselves. The thing is, people like this are just bragging. They only talk about themselves because they are desperately trying to find out who they are. They don’t seem like it, but they are actually the most insecure people in the room. These desperately insecure people are using every relationship they have in order to make them feel better about themselves.
Let’s look at the other side of this, because Paul tells us that love - real love - is different. Paul says that love doesn’t do that thing that makes everyone feel like crap about themselves. Love makes people feel amazing about themselves. Love doesn’t brag. Love doesn’t boast. Love doesn’t make every conversation revolve around me and what I’m doing. Love isn’t all about me. Love is all about you. Love cares about who you are and what you’re into and what you’re feeling. Love cares about what you need. Real love makes you feel like a rock star. Real love makes you feel like the most important and the most interesting person in the room.
One of my best friends is a named Devon. Devon is a very cool and extremely interesting person, but he doesn’t make everything about himself. I’ll never forget when my wife and I really hung out with him for the first time. He asked Christy about herself and her life. He asked her about her kids and what it feels like to be a mom. (And folks, that’s not something that happens to moms a whole lot) He asked her questions about herself. He listened to her answers. That’s how love works. Love doesn’t talk the whole time. Love wants to hear you talk and love wants nothing more than to listen.
The reason love isn’t all about me is that love doesn’t need to use relationships in order to find out who they are. A person who knows how to love already knows who they are. They know that Jesus loves them eternally even though they haven’t been all that amazing. They know that they are precious to God and nothing will ever change that fact. These folks believe those truths so deeply, they don’t need to prove who they are by bragging about everything all the time. Since they already know who they are, they want to know who you are. That’s love. Real love makes you feel loved.