Every speck of true love is marked by self-sacrifice. Maybe that’s why we are so bad at it.
We often think of love as something to fill us, when indeed it is, but that is only part of of the plan. After infatuation fades love becomes a service; acts of love building on more acts of love. Soon these revive feelings of love but not when done with wrong motives. Our reason for giving is not for getting, for that is not real love at all. This is selfishness masked as love.
The person serving to be served is the one with unmet needs only God can fill. Often God will pair his love with the work of human hands to meet our deepest needs. But, when we only see human hands as the means to meet our needs we become selfish, ungrateful, guarded, miserly, and terribly difficult to please. We start turning the faucet of giving in us off. We no longer give and we no longer get. I believe this is when we start to die inside.
I know, because I’ve been there. I’ve been that voraciously hungry woman for attention, love, and desperately anchored on the end of getting. It takes a breaking open of self and a humbleness to turn to God in prayer to meet our most burning (and appropriately) human needs! It takes faith, trust, and bravery to lay down the getting and go at God’s call to give, especially, when giving to those we believe owe us a return. It takes true love sent by the Savior to motivate a broken heart towards self-sacrificial service.
We are called to fill others and humbly serve them with love. Sometimes true bravery, and true love, is the laying down our own wants and needs and serving others. We can trust that as we serve God–through the serving of others–He has our wants in mind as well.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 NIV
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39 NIV
The Practice: Let the burn of selfishness putter-out down deep in your belly, as you explain your needs and lay down your frustrations in prayer to a listening God. Ask how to go about your repeatable, possibly mundane, and most likely inconvenient task at hand. Then, when revived by His energy, consciously and decisively carry forward the task on someone else’s behalf without “payment” in mind of any kind (love, affection, favors, money, profuse thanks). If someone does not respond in the way you would have hoped, walk away from that person and take the wound licking to God in prayer. See how He changes your heart and the other person’s heart slowly through time.
Hang this artwork on your office wall to remind you to serve others with genuine warmth; a bright smile only the joy of the Lord can give you. Hang it in the kitchen where the dishes are never-ending, or where the corner of your eye can catch it as you fold laundry.
Fine Art Print
Framed Fine Art Print
Stretched Canvas Print
Journal (coming soon)
Sticker (coming soon)
This artwork is inscribed with the reminder found in Mark 10:45 NIV, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”