I was faced with a decision yesterday between an action that would cause me discomfort and one that would create a problem for someone else. The details of the matter are unimportant, involving a personal matter known only to the Lord and myself.
At first, I hesitated to embrace the discomfort. I quickly realized, however, the path laid before me by our Heavenly Father.
"Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself… The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Romans 15:1-2; Mark 10:45).
Created by the God who "is love," our way of peace always flows in the direction of His way of unselfish devotion to others (I John 4:8). "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). In my circumstance yesterday, it did not initially seem or feel that deferring to others offered the best outcome. In my heart, however, I knew it was. Indeed, any opportunity to "walk, even as He walked" invites us to experience the wonder of love that comprises the sublime being of our triune God (I John 2:6). This is joy, pure and unmitigated, revealed unto and within us by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
Left to ourselves, the unholy trinity of I, me, and my would govern our every attitude, word, and action. Thankfully, our Lord does not leave His trusting children in Christ to ourselves, leading and enabling us to walk in the glory of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit's unselfish devotion to others. Opportunities such as the one I reference from yesterday continually present themselves in countless forms and fashions. Our Lord privileges us to travel the path of love He long ago paved during a lifetime of joyful self sacrifice. The same joy awaits all who recognize that in God's creation, to love is to live, and to live is to love. Nothing else fits either definition, either in Him or in ourselves.
"Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame."
Weekly Memory Verse
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.