Everyone loves the idea of love. I’m not necessarily talking about romantic love (although what I’m about to say applies to that too), but love in general.
Who’s ever heard of someone saying they don’t like love, or that love is bad?
Since it’s so widely venerated and used, it’s a word that can easily be abused.
So here’s one way to think about what love means: Love is sacrifice with a smile.
Love involves giving something up. In John 13:34 Jesus told his disciples to “love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” It’s a sacrificial love. Not only did Jesus wash their feet, but he went to the cross for them—he sacrificed his life! But he didn’t do it begrudgingly. He knew that the result would benefit them… and us!
In John 3:16 we’re told that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. There was a sacrifice, a cost. But again, it wasn’t done begrudgingly. It was done out of love for his children. It was done to show us the way back to his heart.
You’re right. Love is not always easy. Love is not always comfortable. But it’s worth it.
Today, as you follow Jesus into your conversations, workplaces, schools, parenting, and decisions, think about love, sacrifice and joy as partners. Not because you’re a perpetually-bouncy do-gooder—but because God is your true joy. He wants the best for you. And you want the best for others.
Love is sacrifice with a smile.
By Matthew Ruttan