“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Cor. 13:4-6 (ESV)
We have been given the freedom and privilege to write our own story. We can write that story with the theme of self-love, or with the theme of self-sacrificial love…just like Christ.
The choice is ours…
This well known passage from 1 Corinthians lays out the characteristics of self-sacrificial love. Anyone who has tried to love this way has discovered that we can’t do it by ourselves.
Loving self-sacrificially like Christ requires God’s help.
Faith is attained through the mind…hope impacts our emotions…while love is acted out through our will. If we are going to love self-sacrificially…our will must be changed.
Our will must be subdued…softened…and tempered.
Our will must submit to Another…to Him.
Only a life submitted to Him can love self-sacrificially.
Rarely do we submit our will to Him all at once. This also is a process…a process to learn and accomplish. A process that needs to occur daily…throughout the day.
It’s not complicated…but it is hard.
We start the day recognizing who God is…how worthy He is of our worship and praise. As we experience His greatness…His holiness…His love…we surrender to Him.
And as we surrender…He empowers us to love.
We don’t have to work at it…He works through us.
Love flows…not from us…but from Him.
We are able to love patients and colleagues who previously have been unlovable. We are able to respond with love, not react with non-love.
We sense His peace…and thus are at peace.
It’s a process of surrender…learned and relearned over time. It comes progressively as we experience our own failures and faults. We learn that only He is able to love this way. We slowly learn to repent of our own efforts to love…and surrender once again to Him.
Self-sacrificial love is Christ’s call to all His followers…the only real way for us to live.
Allow today to be another step forward in your path to self-sacrificial love.
Prayer: Lord, I surrender my will to You today. Love through me today with the love that only You can give.