My friend, may I ask you a question? If God commands us to: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:121-15), is He talking about a sacrificial love here; one that is willing to deny our own feelings and put those of others first? How far should self-denial go?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Through the latter part of the last century we spent a whole lot of time redefining love. Did you ever notice that? There was the “Make Love Not War!” movement of the 60’s that really got things rolling. Love, no longer fettered by morals, became the property of whoever wished to own it at that moment. It became a right as opposed to a privilege. Then in the 70’s and well into the 80’s we bound love to the individual, making it a rather bland and nameless thing that related only to what we personally wanted it to be. Finally in the 90’s love became totally amoral, unethically neutral and liberated from sin as even the definition of marriage became blurred and love between individuals of the same sex became as acceptable as the norm; whatever that was. Feelings of love became more important than standards of love.
As the definition blurred, so did the understanding of what character was all about. Was there an absolute by which love could be measured or did character no longer have any relationship at all with what we believe?
Here are some sad statistics: “It’s no wonder that in 15 years of asking high school students throughout America whether, in an emergency situation, they would save their dog or a stranger first, most students have answered that they would not save the stranger. In survey after survey the response was “I love my dog, I don’t love the stranger.” The feeling of love has supplanted God or religious principle as the moral guide for young people. What is right has been redefined in terms of what an individual feels. (Dennis Praeger in Good News, July/Aug, 1993, quoted in Christianity Today, Oct 25, 1993, p. 73.)
God’s command to us is: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:121-15) God’s talking about a sacrificial love here; one that is willing to deny our own feelings and put those of others first. This is the basis for Christian character; that we would love others even when others don’t love us. This was the example of our Savior who loved even those who put Him to death. It must also be our norm for determining how we love. There is no room for only feelings in this kind of love. Doing it right is to love beyond our capacity; giving all we can and then a bit more. Getting an attitude of love is our goal. It’s always about others before it’s about us. Love is! It’s not what we want it to be. That’s Christian character.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Justice is Your seal, Your holy name. As we are in You and Your Spirit in us may we always show the same mercy that You show us to others, perhaps strangers or even our enemies. Forgive us Father when we shirk these opportunities to show mercy, care and concern for those we may not know but certainly You know. Thank You for Your mercy to us O Lord and remind us daily that we should love others as You have always loved us. In Jesus Name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.