A Call for Godliness

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One method of explaining something is describing its opposite. In 1 Corinthians 13:5 Paul states that love “seeketh not her own.” (KJV). To explain this you might describe how a loving person might go at length to encourage and to lift somebody else. Or you might simply refer to forms of selfishness.

I have been going through a list of scripture passages where the same Greek word for “seeketh” or for “own” is used. Today this leads me to Jude 13+18:

“Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. … 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.” (KJV)

“Foaming out their own shame” – what an expressive image. Water shows itself in a unique way, when waves are pouring on cliffs for example. Water then is mixed with air, and is foamy.

People can be very expressive. Now Jude here says some were really displaying their own shame.

Please note that Jude was convinced that everybody one day would have to appear before the judgment seat of God, even as is taught in other passages of the bible. The word shame here would refer to what somebody would feel shameful about when coming into God’s presence on judgment day.

In verse 18 he speaks of individuals following “their own ungodly lusts”. Lustful desires can be the cause of a lot of pain and heartbreak. Following lusts may result in short-lived pleasures. Yet there is no guarantee whatever for lasting joy and happiness.

“Ungodly lusts” would refer to drives that disregard Christian ethical standards. Lying, stealing and harming others may seem to be desirable at times. Yet this leads you away from the God of love.

Godliness is an attitude that seeks to stay in touch with the God of love. Godliness teaches you to view others from God’s perspective.

Paul can say that love “seeketh not her own”, because he had become so aware of God’s love and compassion towards himself. As you learn to rest in God’s love, new motives will begin to spring forth within your heart. God’s love will grow in you higher goals than merely seeking selfish gain.


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Being Mindful of Others


Love “seeketh not her own.” (1 Corinthians 13:5/KJV). Some other passage of 1 Corinthians has led me to write about some practical application.

Early in the history of the Christian church people had various attitudes and convictions concerning what was right to do and what was unadvisable for a Christian to do. Some would emphasise Christian liberty. They would say: I have no problem whatsoever doing this or that. Others would be far more timid and cautious.

Paul is writing about some issues of his day and generation. Yet we need some explanation to understand what this was about. Today I want to give you two examples from present-day Western culture.

Surely you have come across traffic lights for pedestrians. Often they are very useful. Whenever it is hardly possible to cross a road because of so many cars, buses and trucks, those signals will give you a chance to get to the other side of the street.

automatic city control crossing

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However, what to do when the traffic light is red, but as far as you can see there is no car on the road? Do you still have to wait?

As an adult you may prefer not to wait. Time is money, some may say.
Yet children, who are physically smaller, may not be able to see, if there is a car coming. Children may be just taking their first experiences with today’s traffic on the roads. They have not had much training and they do not hold a driving licence.

Crossing a road at red may be a negligible activity for grown-up individuals. Yet as for children, it can bring them into immediate and mortal danger. So perhaps before crossing a road at read make sure that no children are nearby. A bad example to children in this may be perilous to them.

Or think of drinking alcohol. Most adults are used to alcoholic drinks. Most also will know when to stop drinking.

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Yet think of an alcoholic who has barely managed to break free from excessive drinking. One drop of alcohol may trigger old habits. Only very little may cause this person to backslide into addictive drinking.

There may be different opinions about what is right and what is not right for a Christian to do. Some of these issues may be just a matter of point of view. Yet there may be liberties claimed by some that can cause problems and difficulties to others.

Paul exhorts the Corinthians not only to be mindful of their own conscience (1 Corinthians 10:29). You may merely seek to have a good conscience by yourself.

Paul would like believers to think of the weaknesses of other believers. Our behaviour ought not to be a stumbling block to others.

You may like to read the whole passage. To view 1 Corinthians 10:23-33 please click on this link!


Reading all my Posts on self-seeking may give you a fuller and more balanced view of this subject. Please use the subcategory ‘1 Corinthians 13:5 – self-seeking’.

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