Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Sacrificial Is Your Love?

There are few spouses or parents who wouldn't do most anything for their child or spouse, right?  I know I think that and would jump to protect any of them in a heartbeat.  However, I wonder sometimes if we are as loving as we think during the not-so-critical moments of life. Do we really know what sacrifice for each other is during the everyday times?

For example, when it comes to our time, our money, our things, our preferences . . . do we defer or demand?  Notice the word our in each of the previous phrases.  There's a clue right there.  When something belongs to us, when it's ours, we can get selfish more than loving. Now, don't get me wrong.  There's a place for having what belongs to us, protecting it and enjoying it.

But God seems to suggest that sacrificial love doesn't hang on to anything very long but is more willing to give it away.  The classic short story writer O.Henry tells this story in The Gift of the Magi.  A young American couple, Della and Jim, were very poor but much in love.  And each had one special possession.  Della's was her long, beautiful hair.  Jim had a gold watch given to him by his dad.

It was the day before Christmas and Della only had one dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy Jim a gift so she went out, had her hair cut and sold it for twenty dollars. She then bought Jim a beautiful case for his watch.  That night when Jim came home he was stunned to see her with her hair cut short.  And then he handed her his gift . . . a set of expensive tortoise-shell combs with jewelled edges . . . for her to comb her beautiful hair.  He had sold his watch.

Wow.  That's sacrificial love.  Each willing to give the other all they had to give.  What are you hanging on to that you could give away for those you love?  It may not be a possession.  It could be time, attention, words or a listening ear.

I deal with people every week whose lives are changed by a significant event such as a major change in their health or the loss of a loved one.  I heard of another situation just two days ago.  And in most every case I know there are people who wish for just one more moment to live like it was before.  To say or do one more loving thing that wish they would have said or done but simply did not.

You and I have those opportunities left with those close to us.  Love someone radically today.  Give of yourself sacrificially to your spouse, child or friend.  Spread that love to others around you who need love, too.  As singer James Taylor wrote, shower the people you love with love.  And as Jesus more profoundly challenged us, "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Don't miss out on one chance today to love like Jesus did. And have no regrets later.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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