For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
(Text in conjunction with 1 Corinthians 13:5; Philippians 2:4).
I. A COMMON BUT SERIOUS FAULT. In one sense it is right to seek our own. To get on with your learning, to prosper in your business, etc., is right and dutiful: but when you are wholly taken up with self, that is seeking your own in a bad sense. Selfishness appears in —
1. Seeking our own pleasure and comfort to the neglect of that of others. You see it in taking the best seats, and trying to get the daintiest morsels at meal times; in the endeavour to get the best of everything for ourselves, and to leave what is inferior for others; in trying to secure a whole railway carriage to oneself, not caring how crowded the others may be. There is something of the kind in churches: and in families where children disregard each other or their parents, and grudging to others what we do not get ourselves.
2. Seeking our own honour and credit. What a danger there is of wishing ill to one's rival in school, play, or business, so that we may reap the advantage. Under this head may be included the tendency to allow others to fall under suspicion where we were the wrong-doers.
3. Seeking to overbear others with our opinion. Most of us like to get our own way and carry our point. Even when convinced many will not give in.
4. Seeking to gratify our own temper irrespective of the pain it may give others. In holding out sulkily, or saying cutting things.
5. Seeking our own salvation all unconcerned about the salvation of others. How unlike the sailor saved from the wreck, whose first word when he returned to consciousness was, "Another man overboard!" as if that were uppermost with him, so that there might be two salvations to him.
II. A RARE BUT BEAUTIFUL GRACE. Love seeking not her own: beautiful, for it is being like Jesus; it is an element of heaven, but rare. It is the opposite of what has been described. Jesus pleased not Himself; nor did Abraham in his dispute with Lot.
III. A VALUABLE COUNSEL. "Look not on his own things," etc.
1. In small matters. It is comparatively easy to be heroic on great occasions.
2. To the widest extent.
(J. H. Wilson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.