Love means sacrificing self

By Kraig Sorvick

Love is a powerful connection. It bonds, seals, and unites – a mother to her child, a husband to his wife, a human to his Creator. These connections prompt us to a desire to live out, display, and act on that love. 

There’s a passage of scripture in the Gospel of John that shows us Jesus’ thoughts on love. He says:

““As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:9-13). 

There is a powerful story from WWII about prisoners of war who had been captured by the Japanese and were working on a railway in Burma. One of the Japanese guards shouted that a shovel was missing. He demanded to know which prisoner had stolen or hidden the shovel. When no one confessed, he threatened to kill all of the soldiers until the thief was revealed. At that moment one man stepped forward, and the guard beat him to death with his rifle. When they returned to camp, the tools were counted again, and no shovel was missing. It was a mistake, a miscount, an accident. Nevertheless, the anonymous soldier sacrificed his life so that his companions could live.

Love is giving up yourself for the sake of others. Love is giving and not getting. Love is sacrificial. Love is an action. The supreme example of love is laying down your life for the sake of another. And the perfect model of this supreme example is Jesus Christ. He died so we might live.

How do we model Christ? Do we give sacrificially to one another? How are we remaining in Christ’s love? Let us think on that.