Why Show Self-Sacrificng Love?
As true Christians, we must understand that self-sacrificing love is very important and identifies us as Jehovah's people.
But before we go on, it is important to know exactly what self-sacrificing love is.
To put it in a simple definition, self-sacrificing love is a kind of love that makes us selfless or unselfish. It's a kind of love that makes us put the interests of others before our own.
So with the above definition, you will agree with me that true Christians should be self-sacrificing.
It's sad to say that in the world that we live in, many people believe that happiness comes from putting themselves first in life. They make no sacrifices at all; the only sacrifice that they make is for themselves alone.
No wonder the Bible foretold and described these ones in 2 Timothy 3:1–2 as ”Lovers of themselves”.
The self love mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:2 is not a normal or healthy type of love. It is selfish and yields no good results. In fact, people who practice self love, tend to excessively think more of themselves than is necessary.
Their main interest in life is themselves; they don't care about others. These types of people are self-centred, and they do not have true happiness at all.
On the contrary, true Christians will always put the needs and interests of others ahead of their own, and this brings them true happiness and joy.
Their life of self-sacrifice is motivated by true love, the type of love that does not look for its own interests. The type of love that is completely unselfish and originates from Jehovah God.
So the big question now is, as Christians, Why show self-sacrificing love?
It is important for us to show self-sacrificing love because Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ are the foremost examples of unselfish or self-sacrificing love. They were the first to show us love.
You might wonder, how did they show us self-sacrificing love?
Well, cast your mind back to the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve disobeyed Jehovah. The punishment for their disobedience was death. So that meant Adam and his offspring got a death sentence.
But instead of destroying all of Adam's offspring, Jehovah God quickly made a provision for us to gain life everlasting through the Ransom sacrifice, where he gave his only begotten son so that all of Mankind could be saved from sin and death.
What a huge sacrifice from Jehovah and Jesus!
We may never understand the magnitude of the ransom if we don’t meditate and reflect.
To better understand the weight of the sacrifice that Jehovah God and Jesus Christ made for all mankind, let us put ourselves in their shoes. Let us be practical and look at this scenarios: Brother A has three sons.
So you can imagine how difficult it must have been for Jehovah and Jesus Christ.
Jehovah didn't have many begotten sons; he had only one begotten son, yet he willingly gave him up.
On the other hand, Jesus Christ obeyed his father, even when it was difficult, and willingly gave his life on our behalf, knowing fully well that he was going to suffer and die a painful death.
Indeed, the self-sacrificing love shown by Jehovah God and his son Jesus Christ surely motivates us to imitate them. Yes, Jehovah wants us to do all we can to be like Him and his son, Jesus Christ, especially when it comes to showing love.
How do we know this?
We know this because of what is written in Ephesians 5:1–2.READ
5 Therefore, become imitators of God,+ as beloved children, 2 and go on walking in love,+ just as the Christ also loved us*+ and gave himself for us* as an offering and a sacrifice, a sweet fragrance to God.+
So as Christians, when we imitate Jehovah's example of self-sacrificing love, we experience the greater joy and happiness that come only from giving. Not only that, we also have the satisfaction of knowing that we are pleasing the sovereign Lord of the entire universe, who is Jehovah God.
We have just considered why we should show self-sacrificing love; now we're going to take a look at three ways we can show self-sacrificing love to Jehovah God, to our family, and to all people.
First, we can show self-sacrificing love for God by dedicating ourselves to him and getting baptised.
Jesus Christ, while on earth, told his followers that they must disown themselves.
Now, what does it mean to disown oneself?
The Greek word for to disown oneself means that a person has decided to willingly say no to selfish or personal desires. Disowning oneself is not just a matter of occasionally forgoing certain pleasures when it is convenient; NO.
It means we no longer belong to ourselves and that we have willingly surrendered our whole life and everything to Jehovah.
It means we are no longer self- or personal-oriented, but rather God-oriented.
We show that we have disowned ourselves by devoting our lives to God through dedication and baptism. And even after our baptism, we must strive to do all we can to make sure we live up to our dedication for the rest of our lives. We must also not forget to continually show self-sacrificing love in all aspects of our lives.
The second way we can show self-sacrificing love is towards our family.
Within the family circle, we're going to see how husbands and wives can show self-sacrificing love to each other, and we're also going to see how the family head can show self-sacrificing love to the other members of the family.
So let's start with husbands and wives.
Husbands and wives can show self-sacrificing Love by putting their partner's interests ahead of their own.
In fact, Jehovah has wonderful advice for husbands and wives, which can be found in Ephesians 5:33 READ
Husbands are you there?
Husbands, are you the type to lord your headship over your wife and the entire household?
Are you the type who claims to be the boss of the house at every slight opportunity?
Are you the type that says that because you're the head of the family, you will not do any chores in the house?
Are you the type that leaves all the house chores to your wife, indirectly turning her into your house maid?
Remember, Jehovah gave you a command to love your wife, Jehovah made her a helper for you, not a maid.
Wives are you there?
Wives, are you the type to challenge, oppose and contend with your husband?
Are you the type that challenge your husband's authority?
Are you the type that trample on your husband's headship, insults and disrespects him at will?
Remember, Jehovah made him head over you, Jehovah has asked you to have deep respect for him, not insult, contend or challenge him.
The picture on the left clearly shows that there are two captains on the ship.
The husband is claiming to be the head and therefore demands to be respected, and the wife is also demanding her own respect. Obviously, there is an absolute lack of love and respect in this marriage.
Both husband and wife in this picture are feeling too big to do the dishes, and no one is willing to help the other out. They are seeking personal interest and displaying pride.Remember, God’s word says husbands and wives should treat each other with love and respect
If you take a look at the second picture on your right, you will notice that it is the complete opposite of the first one.
You will notice the mutual love and respect these couples have for each other.
You can see how they are doing things together—washing the dishes together, smiling, and doing that happily.
This is exactly how Jehovah want married couples to treat each other, not the other way around.
What quality do you think will help married couples show love and respect, as seen in this second picture?
The answer is humility.
Husbands and wives who are humble seek not their own interests but those of others.
Humility has helped many Christian couples find greater happiness and joy in their marriages.
Next, we want to see how family heads can show self-sacrificing love to their families.
Family heads can show self-sacrificing love by providing for their family’s spiritual, emotional, and material needs.
Jesus Christ, in imitation of his father, was deeply concerned about keeping those under his care spiritually fed, and that was why he taught them many things from the scriptures, thereby feeding them spiritually.
In the same manner, family heads must prioritize their family's spiritual needs ahead of anything else.
The family head does this by making sure that he and his family read and study God's word every day, prepare and attend meetings regularly, preach the good news, and maintain a good relationship with Jehovah.
What about the emotional needs of the family?
Jehovah God openly showed emotion by expressing affection for Jesus Christ. At Matthew 3:17, Jehovah God openly said, This is my son, the Beloved, whom I approved. That was an open show of emotions from Jehovah to his son Jesus.
Jesus Christ, on his part, also freely expressed emotion and affection for his followers through the things that he did and taught them from the scriptures.
In the same manner, a family head can provide emotionally for his family by showing his wife and children that he loves in words and action. He must tell them that he loves them and appreciates them; he must also learn to commend them in public when appropriate.
So far, we have considered how we can show self-sacrificing love to Jehovah God through dedication and baptism. We have also seen how we can show self-sacrificing Love in the family - that is ,to our spouse and children.
Now let us look at the third way we can show self-sacrificing Love
The third way we can show self-sacrificing love is by loving all people.
How do we show love to all people?
We do that by giving priority to helping others learn about Jehovah God. This we can do by engaging in preaching work, conducting return visits, and conducting Bible studies with interested ones and our Bible students.
What further practical ways can we show love to all people?
Well, there are lots of ways, but let’s look at a few.
For example, If there is anyone among us who is weeping or grieving because of the loss of a loved one in death, let us grieve and weep with them because that may make them feel better. Let us comfort and reassure them of the resurrection hope.
Let us do our best to assist those who are in any type of need, material or otherwise.
Indeed, some of our brothers and sisters are passing through a lot. Some have no job, some have no food, and some have no money to pay rent and other bills.
What are we to do when we see these brothers and sisters among us?
God’s word has advice for us READ 1 John 3:17-18
17 But whoever has the material possessions of this world and sees his brother in need and yet refuses to show him compassion, in what way does the love of God remain in him?+ 18 Little children, we should love, not in word or with the tongue,+ but in deed+ and truth.+
So that means we must be practical in showing love.
How then, can we start to practicalize our love?
Well, the convention is around the corner. Some of our Brothers don't have clothes that they're going to wear to the convention; some don't have shoes; some don't have money to transport them to and fro the convention ground, not to talk about what they will eat.
Can we use this opportunity to be of practical help to our brothers and sisters in line with 1 John 3:17-18 that we just read?
If we have some money, could we help those who need clothes get some new clothes for the convention?
If you don't have money, no problems. But do we have used clothes or shoes in good condition that we could share with some of our brothers and sisters?
If we have our personal cars, is it possible we can help transport one or two of our brothers to the convention? Can we also financially support the congregation's transportation arrangements even though we have a personal car? So that those like us and others who don't have cars can be able to make it to the convention ground.
These are some little ways that we can show practical self-sacrificing love to our brothers and sisters, in imitation of Jesus Christ and Jehovah God.
Remember, our dear brothers and sisters are passing through difficult times that are hard to deal with and they need our help and support.
Indeed, living a self-centered Life does not bring true happiness and joy.
But on the contrary, Christ followers who live a life of self-sacrificing love will benefit from many rich rewards and blessings.
Now is the time for us to cultivate the Spirit of self-sacrificing love.
Now is the time for us to show self-sacrificing love to Jehovah through dedication and baptism.
Now is the time to show self-sacrificing love in our family—to our spouse and to our children.
Now is the time to show self-sacrificing love to everyone by preaching the good news of God's Kingdom.
Now is the time to show self-sacrificing love to dear our brothers and sisters.
Now is the time to show self-sacrificing Love by comforting those who are grieving and assisting those in need.
Finally, let us READ Matthew 19:29 to see Jehovah's promises for those who live a life of self-sacrificing love.
What a wonderful promise from the person of Jehovah God, who cannot lie!
Brothers and sisters, may we all continue to display self-sacrificing love, for it will earn us everlasting life in the new world.