Laying it Down for Love

pure religion is this

I hope yesterday’s post didn’t come across as arrogant. Because I don’t know all the answers. I don’t even know a few of them. I just have this overwhelming feeling that I need to somehow break free of the culture — go barefoot, live in a tent in the desert, pour myself into something else besides my mortgage and the bills I ran up while not knowing how to celebrate Christmas.

Sometimes I feel angry because it’s so hard. I always imagine myself dismantling culture — taking apart the scaffolding that holds it all together and seeing what lies underneath. Living that thing, whatever it turns out to be.

I’d like to ditch the anger and live entirely in love. I definitely need to quit worrying about what other people are doing and focus on living my life in the manner God directs.

Today, my eyes lit upon a verse in the book of John. I’ll bet you’ve heard it before.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love have no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Whoa.

First of all, it’s a command. From God.

Next, Jesus says to love as He loved us. Frankly, that part blows my mind.

Finally, he tells us that love is laying down our lives.

When I read that last one, the first thing that comes to mind is throwing myself in front of bus while knocking someone else out of the way. I don’t think that’s what He meant, though. At least not entirely. I think He means that we are also to give up our lives in this sense:

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:25

Life perhaps partially being that temporal comforts with which we surround ourselves. Our house, our car, our grandmother’s Persian carpet. Our dreams for the future. Our present activities.

So if I’m right, and this is even a little bit what He means, then I should be willing to lay it down if it will show love to a brother or sister. Maybe it can be picked up again later, maybe not. And yeah, maybe it even means jumping in front of a bus. Although I’d rather not.

I think this is how people are able to live in mud huts after having grown up in suburbia. It’s how people can risk their lives spreading the gospel in New Guinea. It’s the reason a lawyer chooses to represent the poor instead of raking in six figures in corporate law. These people have laid down their lives for Love.

I want the same. Because ultimately, we all lose this life whether we want to or not.

Photo credit: Public Domain Photos