“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13
If we were to try to describe God’s love, we need look no further than Jesus dying on the cross for the sin of the world (Rom. 5:8). Jesus was the ultimate example of someone who put others’ needs first before His own. And this is the kind of love that we should be showing to one another – and not just to other believers, but to everybody.
On two occasions recently, I had the opportunity to dramatically inconvenience myself in order to help someone else. In one case it was accommodating a family of five in my two-bedroom home for a weekend. In the other it was trading places with a colleague who couldn’t get a seat on a flight but had been placed on standby for the following morning, while I had a seat on a flight leaving that night. In both cases I had a decision to make, and in both cases God worked things out so that the inconvenience didn’t happen (the family stayed elsewhere, and when we enquired about swapping the flights, a seat was available for my colleague to travel that night also).
But even thinking about this, I am challenged: would I have done the same thing for someone I didn’t know? Or for somebody I knew, but didn’t like? Yet Jesus died for those who hated Him, for those who would reject His offer, for thse who wouldn’t believe, as well as those who would. Not everybody appreciated what He did, but He did it anyway. Are we willing to show this kind of love to other people?