I have striven with all the intensity in me to live and exemplify that selfless love, that unconditional love, which God’s word requires. The only thing I can say right now is that it is costly. This same self-giving love cost our savior His life and for a while it cost Him heaven. It has not cost me my life nor heaven but it has cost me. To be certain I am far richer than when I began but I am shaken. I have grown immensely, but as with any striving, it takes its toll and I am tired.
Love is patient and kind in a way that disarms our human desire to have our own way. Love is not boastful or proud but rather securely rooted and confident. Love is not self-seeking but rather, other-centered. I must confess I choked on this idea. I read it and thought, “Let’s see what this looks like.” Believe me it looks good. Better than looking good it is good—but it is costly.
I have come to think that there are allegiances but no degrees within love.
There are duties that dictate priorities but no favoritism in love.
Love is lavish, expensive, and unadulterated.
Love is by nature kind, gentle, and not self-serving.
Truly, my failings in this area are as many as my attempts. When, after all, have my actions, my motives, or my desires ever been other-centered? Don’t answer! I would rather delude myself to think there were at least a few moments of altruistic love in my past and perhaps a few still to come. But I am not too optimistic that I, in myself, will produce anything but rotten fruit and selfish love.
I made an astounding discovery along the way—I am human. I know this surprises no one, and truthfully, it is no great surprise to me. Yet, I had hoped to overcome my humanness, move past my selfishness, past self-serving motives and personal desires to truly love selflessly. I have learned afresh, it is possible to love unselfishly, but perhaps not this side of heaven, at least not by this sinful man. Not yet anyway.
Still, I was made for such a challenge. I was made for such a task. The impossible is the most attractive thing to me and the ideal my simple food. As David Wilcox sings, “I could no more stop dreaming, than I could make them all come true.” Tell me, how could I, serving a master who specializes in the impossible, surrender the dream of sharing in His nature? How could I, knowing His desire to change me, fail to believe He may yet work a miracle in me and then, through me? Since this love cost our savior His life that may simply be the price, a dying to self to love another. Yes, the Spirit is willing while my flesh is weak, but He has promised it will not always be so. It will not always be so.
Matt. 5:44-46, Luke 6:35, John 13:34, John 15:17, Rom 5:8, 12:9-10, 1Cor 13, 16:14, Eph 5:2, Phil 2, 1Pet 1:22, 4:8, 1John 3:16, 18, 4:11, 19
Copyright (C) Hudson Russell Davis