I used to have a refrigerator magnet with those words on it. It was to remind me that love means I think of myself last.
The love chapter (ICorinthians 13) says that love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked. Whew! That is something hard to practice. I think that is saying that I need to put Jesus first in my life. It is only His love in me that will enable me to love others in that way.
It is human nature to want to be first…..in line, in getting noticed, in winning. We want to be the first one to get waited on, the first one to get a paycheck, the first one to see the Doctor. Me, Me, Me is our first instinct. Even babies want what they want when they want it!
Jesus tells us, in Mark 9:35b that, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” When we are controlled by the love of Jesus Christ, we won’t behave rudely, or seek our own, or be easily provoked. We will put others first…before our own wants and desires.
I can remember my mother demonstrating this trait of love. When we had chicken, she always took the wings and the back, leaving the choicer pieces for her family. She was this way about other things, too. Always making sure that we were served, or safe, or warm; before she took care of her own needs. I believe that is what the Apostle Paul was describing when he talked about love.
Jesus, then others, and finally yourself! A good formula for finding true JOY.