1997-10-28 - Greater Love
John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
These are the words of Christ, words that are familiar to us. This is often taken as the foremost act of self-less-ness. Christ loves in a way the world can not understand. In fact the reasoning of the world was summed up perfectly by the British Politician, Jeremy Thorpe, when he said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his friends for his life.” This seems to be a good contrast between the mindset focused on this world and the mindset of a follower of Christ. Christ is our example in the self-denial department of our lives. Pop Psychology will ask you why you are struggling, wait for your answer, and suggest you look deep inside your self for the solution. If you find nothing there, they resort to, “look deeper”. Christ exhorts us to look to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith, for our needs and for our example. Christ is King of self-denial, and as already said, our example.
How does one get this self-denial? Good question. From experience I would say struggle, struggle, struggle, but that really helps little. Lets try to be a little practical. Get a true understanding of yourself. Nothing but self-love makes self-denial more difficult. Self-love comes from self-admiration, and a feeling of self-importance. To grow out of love of self is no easy thing. “Do your best to fall out of love”, is no mean statement when we are talking about the love of self. Most people will revolt to read that they are monsters in their nature, or vultures to themselves, but so we all are. Paul knew it, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh …” (Romans 7:18) If we really understood this, self-denial would be much less difficult. We would flee to Christ for refuge. Humans are mischievous types and therefore we must seek the Lord in our progress toward self-denial. We must seek the Lord in all of our journey toward Christlikeness. The Lord has promised that those who seek Him will find Him (Luke 11:10), and it is no stretch to say that those who seek Him upon the practice of self-denial, shall find Him a willing and eager partner in our task to accomplish His will.
“Monkeys are superior to men in this: when a monkey looks into a mirror, he sees a monkey.” Malcolm de Chazal
Soli Deo Gloria,