One of the greatest things we can do with ourselves is to love selflessly. Not only others but ourselves and the Lord. No matter how old you are, where you are in life, what you do-today can be a day where you decide to live selflessly and inreturn love selflessly !
Why does loving selflessly begin with loving God? God is love. He Himself is the very essence of love. If we do not have Jesus within our hearts, we do not have love itself. For love is not merely a feeling or emotion but a person. And we need Him to be able to love others.
When we begin to love the Lord and are able to realize His love for us, then we are able to love ourselves. For we are able to see past inseccurities, shame, guilt, unworthiness and are able to see the purpose in which God created us for and our identity as sons and daugters of God. For when we see ourselves as apart of the world, we lose ourselves-trying to seek outside of ourselves for happiness, meaning and purpose rather than allowing Jesus into our hearts and lives and then seeking Him for all that we desperatly long for. For how can we love others if we do not have love Himself? How can we love ourselves if we do not have love Himself? And we cannot love without bounds if we are trying to gather up enough love for ourselves.
For love is a concept our culture has desperatly tried to understand, in the form of romantic movies, fairytails and lists of what we want and don’t want in someone else. I am glad to say, love is nothing like that. Love is not merely based on how you feel but on who you have. For Jesus showed us perfect love; He laid down His life for people He knew most would reject Him, deny Him or hurt Him, but He laid His life down seflessly, so that we could all have a choice to choose life instead of death. To choose a life of abundance, free from guilt, shame, unforgivness and condemnation instead of a life consumsed of trying to meet upto unrealistic standards, being known by how much money you have or loosing yourself in addictions to drugs, oneself, greed etc.
For where there is love, there can be no selfishness. For love does not have conditons on it-love is selfless, love is not seeking ourselves but the good of others at the cost of oneself. For love always looks like something.
1)Take time to know God, to discover how loved you are by Him and how Jesus is the example of perfect love. Love is not self-fulfilling but allowing others to recieve hope of something better.To know God, going to church is a great things, to meet great people and learn about who He is rather than who you may think He is. Reading the Bible yourself (seeking guidance on what to begin to read is great!) and praying to God yourself, not only when you need help but talking to Him about all things. It truly is a relationship, not a religion. Although you may have heard that before, God is not merely a man in the sky, but He is a loving God, who desires to live with you, walk with you everyday through all things.
2)Love is doing whatever we can, wherever we are, with whatever we have for whoever needs it at that moment. When you go places, take time to look around-not being so self-oriented but seeking who in that moment, that place needs a touch of love. Love is to pour into each persons life-loving those around you deeply and honoring all people. The 5 Love languages-take a look!
3)Love is not limited. It is not based on conditions whether you know that person, or judging whether that person deserves love-your time, money, efforts or not. Love is doing what you know is right, regardless if the other person is deemed worthy by you. Love is not conditioned-Jesus died for all to recieve love, each and every person, regardless of what they have done or haven’t done, who they are or what mistakes they’ve made. Love is looking past ones apperance or facade and realizing that they are someone who is desperatly looking for love, seeking to be loved and maybe they’ve sought that love in all the wrong places, doing all the wrong things and in doing so-they need the true uncondtional love of Jesus for them to realize they have hope and are not hopeless.
4)Going on 3, loving selflessly is pulling out the gold in others, regardless of what dirt is covering it. It is not merely judging apperances or the habits people are stuck in or even what they do outwardly. For everyone needs love, everyone needs to be valued and everyone needs to be shown that they are worth our time, worth our love and that their lives matter. For so often we judge people on their attitudes, looks and what they do-even if someone is mean, I do not look at what they are portarying outwardly, for whatever someone does outwardly it is because they are hurting inside. And with that loving selflessly is moving past our human nature to walk past them or ignore them, but may we stand in faith and love them deeply-giving them our time to listen, buying them something to eat or doing something nice.
5)Loving seflessly is stepping outside of yourself and doing acts of kindness to others, especially those that may not be able to do it themselves. It takes boldness and courage to step up and love selflessly, for you are moving out of your comfort zone – Do it anyways. Know that it is so desperate to love others, for others are seeking value, worth and purpose-may you show them that they matter.
6)Loving selflessly is not seeking approval from man but doing it regardless if anyone see’s it or not, regardless even if the person knows you or not. Even doing something anyomosly. Love is not doing something to be known, rather to make Jesus known through it. We shouldn’t allow ourselves get in the way of someone seeing love Himself, for we are only carriers of love-we only have enough love to give away as we allow Jesus to shine through us.
7)Be kind to others, do little things that will make people smile and take time to listen and talk. Don’t always be in a rush to go somewhere but take time to allow others to feel valued-such as standing in the line at the grocery store, talking to the cashier. Our culture has become so busy and fixed on oneself that we do not give time or moments to others to acknowledge the work they do or their presence. Begin to lift your eyes up from your phone, or off your mental scheduel of what needs to be done next and wherever you are be all there so that those around you may have a glimpse of the person you are and the love you have within you.
8)Loving selflessly is giving your time to others and that which is valuable to you. Not trying to keep things for yourself but freely allowing others to have it if you know they need it. It is only a dog eat dog world if you let it be. That which you hold of such importance is merely a treasure on earth, take ahold of true riches which are eternal in Christ and share with others. Don’t seek to please yourself but seek to help others.
9)Speak words of encouragment, of love, of truth and that which will uplift others. To love others is to support them not only in actions but also in what you say to them. Loving selflessly is loving all people-so in doing so, try to love them through your words. For what your heart is full of, your mouth speaks. Begin to hold back what is negative, condesending, rude or mean and only speak words of love to others-smiling and allowing your words, character and heart for Jesus shine through your presence, so that others may be uplifted, encouraged and reminded of how important they are.
10)To love seflessly our hearts continually need to be checked, purified and cleansed. When we seek Jesus, He begins to transform us from the inside out-the less we are, the more He is. The less self-focused we are and the more Christ centered our thoughts, heart and life is-the more love we will have for others and ourselves, for we are no longer consumsed with what we need to do, what we want, but more focused on what Jesus wants to do through us in this very moment. Whether its to say Hi to someone, buy someone a coffee, help someone in a way, donate all old clothes to a homeless shelther, taking time to volunteer. Get your heart into check, seek to hold no unforgivness but to forgive yourself, others and anything you’ve been holding onto. For unforgivness brings forth bitterness, pain, resentment and in that holds no place for love. For love cannot be where their is self-seeking, envious, hate or greed. Love is joy,peace,contentment, humility, gentleness, patience, kindness, hope and life.
I hope that this somewhat shone a light on how to begin to live a selfless life. How to seek to place others before yourself, and just like Jesus laying down your life (your wants, desires, etc) to help others and propel others into their destiny, identies and a new life. The world needs laid down lovers, people who are not in it for themselves but in it to help others see their own potential. In no way I am saying to neglect your giftings, talents or needs but not to allow those things to keep you from stopping for someone-to love on them, to share hope with them and to remind them that they matter and they too have a purpose. We are in this together, and we need one another. May we love eachother deeply and truly, not with surface level love but whole-heart abandonment to love eachother, uplift oneanother and share the love of Jesus Christ with the world.
“A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” John 13:34-35
Take some time to read 1 John today !!