Christians often define love as “self-sacrifice for the benefit of another with no desire for personal gain.” In general I don’t think this is bad, probably not heretical. At the same time, it might be wrong.
1 Corinthians 13 says things like “I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
The implication is that only by loving others do we actually gain a profit! In other words, love is actually the only way your self can gain!
Does this not make love self-serving? If we love someone so we profit, isn’t this more like capitalism than selfless sacrifice?
Indeed. Who are you kidding? At one point have you ever done something for someone else with no thought of how this makes you look good, feel good, make friends, influence people, gain trust, etc?
Even Christ Himself did not sacrifice Himself on the Cross with no thought of personal gain. He endured the cross for the “joy set before Him!” It was because He was cast down at the cross that He was exalted on high for eternity.
A person who thinks they are loving someone else with no thought of personal gain is closer to being a Pharisee than being like Christ.