You know, Scripture talks about this character trait a great deal. Jesus told us how important it was and that it was the reason He came. Paul described what love is for us (1 Corinthians 13) and John said we had to love just like God or we were fooling ourselves about our relationship to Him (1 John). Yet, you look around at the world and you don’t see a whole lot of love. And you walk into the doors of many churches and there are regular demonstrations of “untrue” love that abound.
I was giving some thought as to why it’s that way. Why don’t we do a better job of loving as Christ as loved us? Here are my thoughts:
- Christ’s love was never self-serving. Christ loved for the benefit of those He loved upon. He wanted to see them in a better place. He wanted to love them away from poor choices. It was never about Him.
- Christ’s love was more than a feeling. Christ didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I feel like loving the world”. You can’t convince me that Christ “felt” like loving the soldiers on the cross or the mockers who stood at His feet. His love was not an emotion; it was a decision to do what was right and what would honor His Father.
- Christ’s love was sacrificial–truly sacrificial. Not sacrificial like we want to describe it in our 21st century America. Rather, it’s a true willingness to give our all for others so that they might be blessed. Just like Jesus…
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-7 NLT
Therein is where we miss it…just like Jesus. How can we possibly say we have loved our wife, our kids, our neighbor, our co-worker or the stranger on our street until we have done it just like Him? Jesus set the standard. Our job is to measure ourselves to see if we really can love like He does.