1. We are told to love the same way. I John 3:16
a. We think of that in these terms: I’d take a bullet for you, man.
b. But, are you willing to not talk about your problem today so that he can talk about his? Or are you willing to not make everyone else miserable because you are in a bad mood?
c. v17–Defines laying down your life. A brother has a need that you can meet and you meet it.
2. When we talk like this, it immediately brings up questions such as: Won’t I get used up by meeting the needs of others? What about me and my needs? My boundaries? Won’t I get taken advantage of? Can’t you go overboard in being nice to people?
a. We all get taken advantage of at some point or another whether we are loving or not. That’s life in a sin cursed earth.
b. That’s why we can’t make a list of “dos” and “donts” as far as how to treat people. We can only learn general principle.
1. Realize that you are naturally self focused and you must choose to look away from yourself toward others.
2. You have to think about their needs and then treat them the way you would want to be treated.
c. Yes, but no one ever returns it. I’m the one who does all the giving.
1. That’s probably not true. You’ve set up unrealistic expectations which people haven’t met (they either didn’t know or couldn’t do), and you are overlooking what they have done.
2. If it is true, that’s God’s problem and their problem.
3. The Bible wasn’t written to tell them how to treat you, but rather to tell you how to treat them.
d. You can give all you have and still not have any love. It’s not the giving, it’s why you are giving. I Cor 13:3
3. Most people who overdue in the area of giving (time, effort, etc.), it isn’t because they are selfless, but rather selfish.
a. They want people to like them, approve
of them. They want God to bless them. That’s why they do what they do.
b. Their motive is their own good, not the good of others.
4. Once again, we can look to Martha and her giving in Luke 10:38-42
a. No doubt, part of what she did was to be helpful, but mixed in there was a desire for recognition (focus on self). We know that because of her reaction when she didn’t get what she wanted.
b. Jesus commended Mary — the one who wasn’t doing anything for anyone. But, her focus was off of herself and on Jesus. v42
5. Jesus took time to be alone with His Father — yet there were still needs to be met. Mark 1:35
6. The good Samaritan is an example of giving. Luke 10:25-37
a. A lawyer (theologian) tempted Jesus and tried to justify himself. v25-29
b. In answer, Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan. v30-35
c. A neighbor is one who is in need, whose need I know, and have the ability to meet. A neighbor is also one who shows mercy.
d. Notice, the Samaritan did what he could for the man and went on his way. He didn’t give all his money, his career, his life, etc. for the injured man.
7. It’s about motive. You can appear to be generous and helpful, but your whole focus is on self.