This word is also used to refer to the private parts of the body, which would be indecent to expose. 1 Cor 12:23; shame of nakedness. Rev 16:15; homosexualism, Rom 1:27 and a man’s unbecoming conduct towards his fiancée, 1 Cor 7:36, perhaps in the sense of trespassing in areas specially reserved for marriage.
This word therefore refers to rather aggravated and serious conduct that is disgraceful, indecent and dishonourable. It is conduct hat is unacceptable both within and without the church.
In Corinth, a man was behaving indecently by living with his stepmother, 1 Cor 5:1. Perhaps, also lack of self-control among courting couples was causing some alarm, 1 Cor. 7.
Very often we think that as long as we are not hurting or injuring anyone, we can behave anyhow we like. It is a matter between God and us. This is not what Paul teaches.
If we truly have and practice Christian love, we will not allow any indecency to creep into our personal conduct and behaviour, even those that do not affect others.
A Christian does not live isolated from the rest of the body of Christ. When he acts or lives indecently, he destroys the testimony of the church and devalues the glory and the name of Jesus Christ.
To hurt the image and the good testimony of the church in this way is no different from injuring or harming the church in a physical way. In fact, this is more serious. One of the primary purposes of the church is to bear witness to Christ. To live indecently is to hurt the church in this function.
Therefore, this quality of love requires from us consideration for others and the church. Our lives are not ours only to live. We are not only accountable to God.
We are responsible to others in how we live and behave. Our sins have far-reaching consequences. And our God is righteous and just. Everything that is hidden in the dark will be exposed, Eph 5:13, 14.
Love Is Not Self-Seeking
The text literally translated means “love does not seek the things of itself”. It simply means that love is not self-centered and selfish. It should not be a preoccupation with promoting one’s own interest and ambitions. One should not be obsessed with imposing one’s own views and intentions on others.
In Corinth, self-seeking manifested itself in Christians being inconsiderate to each other’s sensitivities in the matter of eating food offered to idols, in the selfish conduct of believers at the Lord’s Supper and in self-conceited display of spiritual gifts in the church.
In this area, surely the right Christian attitude is found in what Paul wrote to the church at Philippi. “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also into the interests of others.” Phil 2:4.
The example to follow is surely none other than Jesus Christ, “who being in very nature God … made himself nothing …”, Phil 2:6,7.
Timothy showed himself to be a follower of this example. Paul says, “there is no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Phil 2:20,21.