“Love is not self-seeking.” Then what does it seek? Does it merely seek the needs of others? Perhaps so. Through inspiration from the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote that love does not seek its own. Paul, however, wrote much more and some of that “much more” might help us clarify what love seeks if self is not the target.
If your Bible has cross-references, this part of 1 Corinthians 13 may direct you to Philippians 2:19-21. I want to point your attention to that Scripture; it will aid in our understanding of being selfless. Here is the essence of those three verses:
“I hope to send Timothy to you for I have no one else who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.”
Did you catch it? It’s a big deal! Paul packs a lot in these verses. In direct opposition to the interests of Christ Jesus he places “their own interests.” Let that sink in for a moment. I could stop writing at this point, for that is a truth heavy enough for most of us.
We can conclude that Timothy sought the interests of Jesus and, therefore, was genuinely concerned for the Philippians’ welfare. Love—the kind that we as believers are called to live out, seeks the interests of others by seeking the interests of Jesus. The interests of Jesus? What are those? Carpentry? Walking on water? Performing miraculous miracles?
I would submit, rather, that the interests of Jesus for believers is finding our significance in Him alone. If our identity is wrapped up in who we are in Him, they will certainly know us by our selfless love for others.