Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John
"No one cares about anyone but themselves anymore," I heard a young man say
despairingly. My heart sank at those words and I was uncertain what to say, so I responded
with a question. "Why do you think that is?" I asked. "That's a tough
question," he replied. I acknowledged his remark with a nod of my head. I moved
forward with other questions and other thoughts that settled my heart somewhat in the
asking and telling. Yet, I came away with my earlier question still echoing in my mind:
"Why do you think that is?" The young man's statement gripped me more than such
words had ever before. And so I pondered the depth of his words: "No one cares about
anyone but themselves anymore."
And so I began to wonder how we get people to truly love sacrificially--to love expecting
nothing in return. For is this not the kind of love Christ demonstrated to us. But where
is that love demonstrated today? I would hope to be able to say that we can find that love
in the body of Christ, the church. Yet, I would be very hesitant to say that, perhaps
because of my skeptical nature. Or perhaps it is because such a love that Christ
demonstrated is something we would be hard pressed to find--even in His church.
Surely, if there is any group of people that we can teach to love as Christ loved us it
would be the church, wouldn't it? Or would we find more often people that love even as the
world loves and that in a fashion of convenience or return. For we may often see that if
we must go out of our way to demonstrate the love of Christ within the church that we may
determine that our time is needed elsewhere and that our attention should go to more
important things, such as football games and the like. So it would seem that most of us
love as love is convenient.
Or if our love is something because of what we receive in return for our love, who is it
that we love? And what kind of love are we demonstrating? Perhaps this is a paradoxical
love, for as we say we love others when indeed we love them because of what they do for us
or how them make us feel, then our love is unfounded. For, in such a case, our love is
motivated by what we shall receive and not by what we shall give. And even still, if we
give so as to receive, have we truly given--or have we rendered a payment so as to get
something we desire? Jesus tells us, "For if you love them which love you, what
reward do you have? do not even the publicans do the same? "(Matthew 5:46).
"No one cares about anyone but themselves anymore." Is that true? Or is it that
there are so many who are apathetic towards the cries of a fallen humanity that it just
seems like not even one person truly cares anymore? There are those who do care and do
want to make a difference. But our deep, heartfelt desires are not going to be enough to
show the world we care. We are going to have to demonstrate the love that is the love of
Christ--a sacrificial love--a love that is willing to give up everything for another. Then
the world will listen. Then the world will pay attention. Then the world will find life
through those who are willing to lay down their lives for another.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called
the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not (1 John 3:1).