Christ was and is an awesome example of love. He sacrificed himself fully for others. Even when the sacrifice was painful, sorrowful and without joy; Christ gave himself, including ultimately giving his own life so that others wouldn’t have to suffer. His sacrifice is a wonderful example of love, but how does today’s Christian measure up? Today we are so full of worldly thoughts such as what we would like to accomplish and what we want to accumulate financially and materially. Being so full of wants and desires, thinking only of ourselves, how can we get to that place of loving like Christ?
First, we need to stop being so consumed by our personal goals, dreams, and aspirations. While there is nothing wrong with a purpose filled life while here on earth, make sure your list doesn’t include only physical or material things. Include spiritual dreams and goals about how you will show the love of God to everyone you meet. This has to be very intentional, planning in advance how you will not think so much of yourself but instead think of the needs of others and how you can meet that need.
There is so much need all around us. Just take a moment, open your eyes and really look at the people who are in your life and who you may see as you go through your normal day. When a homeless person asks for help, how do you react? Do you immediately think of how hard you have worked for what you have and keep moving, or do you think but by the grace of God that could be me and show compassion? In that scenario, giving money may not be the best thing to do, but you may be able to help with a meal and a few words of encouragement.
Think about what someone else might need to help lighten an already hard situation. The loss of a job can be very shattering. It is not just the loss of income, but the unemployed also lose the fulfillment and purpose of having a job to attend daily. Showing care and compassion for an unemployed friend could be giving a small gift card to a nearby gas station, or grocery store. Sometimes the giving will be a sacrifice; it will not always be comfortable. God may prompt you to give money you had set aside for something you wanted and your obedience will not only bless the other person, but you will also grow in God as you trust him to guide you.
There are so many other situations in life where the people around us are hurting and need the love of Christ shown through acts of kindness and generosity. Loving like Christ takes an open and giving heart, ready to sacrifice your wants to fill the needs of others.
How can you love like Christ in the coming new year? Leave your thoughts in the comments.