Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
God isn’t asking us to physically die in this passage. He is asking us to die to our flesh. Every. Single. Day. Which in retrospect is much harder than the first. Why? Because we are a me society. Selfish. Entitled. To put aside our own feelings and needs day in and day out is an almost inconceivable task, but that is what God is asking. It is something that we have to be intentional about daily. It is a task that we have to focus on all day long. It doesn’t come naturally. Laying down our own life is symbolic of laying down our own selfish desires. I keep trying to think of small ways to lay aside my needs/wants to better meet the needs of others around me. A great starting point is just stopping and listening to the people around us. That’s hard because we are so rushed. We have so many tasks daily that we need to complete; however, when we stop and pause we can learn a lot from our friends’ words/body language. In a society that has us going ninety to nothing we often get caught up in what I need to do. Where I need to be next. We miss out on sharing a kind word. We miss out on seeing the pain in someone’s eyes. We miss the fact that people all around us are truly struggling with deep pain and issues that are strangling them. The devil is telling us that we need, that we have to have, to keep going and work harder. Don’t stop. Why? Because he knows that we are missing the one fundamental trait of Christianity when we are so rushed – and that is truly serving and meeting the needs of others.
God, today my prayer is that you would help me to pause. To stop. To listen. Help me to see my friends and coworkers, my husband and my kids, through your eyes today. Help me to see their needs, and help me better serve them in the same way Christ served everyone around him. Please help me put my needs and wants to the side and really focus on others. I want to be more like you, Jesus. And I want to help make Your kingdom bigger. Amen.