Calling all bargain hunters: if you’re like me, you love finding a great deal… on anything! And that appreciation for savings doesn’t just apply to discounts and freebies. Shortcuts that save time or labor-saving devices that reduce effort are marketable for a reason. Who doesn’t like to get more from less? But when it comes to God’s call for us to walk in love, it’s not about savings, it’s about sacrifice. Sure, that’s counter to all the messages around us that emphasize things like “me time” and self care,” but in God’s kingdom, sacrifice is not a dirty word. On the contrary, Jesus said,
“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.” (John 15:12-13 NLT)
What does it mean to lay down our lives? It can be as small as letting someone else get the last slice of pizza, or as big as covering their rent when they’re out of work. It can mean giving up your weekend to help someone move, or losing face by taking the blame instead of exposing the other person’s mistake. But for it to really be the kind of love and giving of ourselves that has an impact on others, it will cost us.
“Love requires you to help pay the price to bring forth the life.” (excerpt from Learning to Love in the Hard Places pt.2, by Dr. Chester C. Pipkin Jr.)
There’s nothing wrong with appreciating a good bargain or an efficient process, but in our relationships with others, God wants us to be willing to accept the cost and not look for a way around it. That’s the way He loves us, and He is eager to help us love the same way.