Last post I talked about going to dangerous places for the gospel even when there’s potentially the physical cost of laying down one’s life. But there is another loss of life apart from physical death and it is this one that God is currently teaching me about yet again.
John 15 says that laying our lives down for another is the greatest form of love:
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:12-15)
I used to consider this passage to be solely talking of physical death, but now know it means so much more. We currently live in a world consumed by self. We live in a culture where the individual reigns supreme. Giving is often done to make oneself feel good, but usually doesn’t come at a substantial cost to the one giving. How different is God’s call upon us!
God says that love lays down oneself. Love is willing to give up everything for others. Love sacrifices!
Laying down one’s life could mean giving up career advancement to protect family time. It could mean giving up a hobby in order to do a joint activity with one’s spouse. It could mean moving overseas to love a different people group. It could mean giving up a Saturday afternoon in order to visit people in hospitals or nursing homes who do not have family support . . . And so the list goes on.
For me, John 15:12-15 is fully realised in the roles of wife and mother. They are beautiful roles, but come at great cost of independence. I am daily reminded of my inherent selfishness and need the help of the Spirit of God to set my wants down for my husband and child. There is often frustration, rebellion or heartache within me with each new sacrifice, but then there is joy in coming into alignment with God’s way of love.
In what ways are you living a life laid down? Is there something God is calling you to sacrifice in order to love another?
Lay down your life and follow Christ.