Not to Seek Your Own, In a Selfish Sense, Is the Best Way of Seeking Your Own in a Better Sense

I love these words from Jonathan Edwards (in Charity And Its Fruits):

If you are selfish, and make yourself and your own private interests your idol, God will leave you to yourself, and let you promote your own interests as well as you can.

But if you do not selfishly seek your own, but do seek the things that are Jesus Christ’s, and the things of your fellow human beings, then God will make your interest and happiness his own charge, and he is infinitely more able to provide for and promote it than you are. The resources of the universe move at his bidding, and he can easily command them all to subserve your welfare.

So that, not to seek your own, in the selfish sense, is the best way of seeking your own in a better sense. It is the directest course you can take to secure your highest happiness.

I would say that this might be the second most important thing I have ever read.

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  • Mark Waldmann

    This is very valuable insight… Thanks for sharing! 😎

  • david

    and the first?

  • Mark Waldmann

    Yes, do tell what THE most important thing you’ve ever read/learned was!

  • Matt

    All right, here’s the first most important thing: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3-4).

    Here’s the relationship: Edwards point is only possible because we are first forgiven and accepted by God apart from works (that is, apart from seeking his kingdom and the good of others). If we forget that, we can end up creating a new law–trying to seek God’s favor through what we do.

    Instead, God accepts us and becomes for us solely through faith, and then because of that we are free and able to seek his kingdom and the good of others, and God puts all of his power behind us as we do.