The greatest commandments are these: Love the LORD with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). I used to think that hate was the opposite of love, but I’ve since learned that hate is the absence of love. The practical opposite of love is selfishness. Love requires that we seek the best interests of others. Love requires that we serve others without hesitation. Love requires that we make sacrifices without concern or reservation. In a word, love requires that we get over ourselves, our tendency toward selfishness, and our propensity to become self-absorbed. Selfishness and selfish actions will invariably culminate in loneliness. The paradox of selfishness is that while we spend all of our energy guarding our own things and protecting our own interests we will ultimately relegate ourselves to living in isolation – spiritual, mental, emotional, and sometimes physical isolation. While we may well “gain the world,’ we will have lost so much more!
1-4 If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Philippians 2:1-4 (The Message)