“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
I’m no love guru, but I do know one thing: love prefers others.
However, the reality is that most of us prefer ourselves over others. That’s why we don’t pay our tithes or give to charities or people in need – instead we say “I need/deserve that money more than they do!” That’s why we don’t automatically hold a door open or offer to help carry something heavy for a stranger – instead we say “I’m in a hurry!” or “I don’t know them, it’s not my job to help!” That’s why we look at people who are having problems in their lives and say “That’s so sad!” and then never give them another thought.
We practice in our everyday lives exactly the opposite of what we’re COMMANDED to do. That’s right, COMMANDED. It’s not a suggestion or some helpful tip for living a happier, fuller life. And not only did He command us love, He also equipped us to love.
So, really, having love isn’t the problem. The problem seems (to me at least) to be our own pride and selfishness. It’s like having a water hose with several crimps in it. There’s nothing wrong with the water. There’s not even anything wrong with the water pressure to force the water through the hose.
We know what love is. We know what love looks like. We know all the “how to”s of love. But when it matters, often the love just doesn’t flow. We are rude and pushy and bossy and mean because we WANT what we want WHEN we want it which is RIGHT NOW! Or we’re insensitive and manipulative and intimidating because we want everything to go exactly how we want it to go. Or we’re insincere and angry when someone else gets praised or promoted because we want to be acknowledged for our hard work! Or we are happy when something bad happens to someone who did us wrong because they deserve it for hurting our feelings.
So, for me, this season of focusing in on the Love of God has been all about humility and healing, remembering that the universe doesn’t revolve around me, and that if it wasn’t for the grace of God in my life, I would be in a sad, sad state of affairs.