“[Love] is not self-seeking.” (1 Corinthians 13:5b NIV)
I know people who can talk and talk and talk. In fact, I had a student in my class once who wouldn’t stop talking. She also made constant drumming noises on her desk. Now, please understand that I don’t tolerate little noises like that. They make me crazy, and my students all knew this. In this case, however, the girl who made the noises and talked all the time was a special needs student and she actually couldn’t stop herself.
There was another student in my class who wanted to please me, no matter what. He was not at all happy, and without explaining why, he asked his father to come to the classroom and “fix” the problem. The father came, and not understanding what was upsetting his son, he started accusing me. His son, however, was quick to correct him and let him know that he needed to stop the girl from making noises so it wouldn’t upset me!
In the end, it was a major misunderstanding, and we all had a good laugh. This opened the door for me to talk to this student about accepting people how they are.
“But the noise really bothers me, too!” the student admitted.
I looked at him and said, “Can we use these annoying noises to help others? I have an idea. When the noise starts to upset you, let me know and I’ll tell you a joke.”
The dad nodded his approval. He then affirmed that his son respected me as a teacher and thanked me for my efforts in resolving the problem. I invited the father to come to my classroom at any time.
In the end, that student learned to accept the girl who made noises, and within a week, the noise didn’t bother him any more.
This student learned that we can’t just think about our own happiness. We have to learn to not be self-seeking. That’s what love really is. Love doesn’t seek itself, it seeks the happiness of others first and foremost!
(To access the entire “God’s Love in YOU” devotional series, please click here.)