Christian Love Does Not Parade Itself
Today we present an example taken from the life of Jesus to support the position that Christian Love does not parade itself before others. Our example will show the humility of Jesus who performed miraculous healings and yet asked that His identity be kept a secret. All of this is done in support of a prior post (What-is-Love) that broadly addressed the topic of love that is found in the First Letter to the Corinthians.
So let us start with our example:
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” (Mark 1:40-44)
In this example we see an overt effort by Jesus to divert attention away from His miraculous actions. In fact He draws attention to the priests and to Moses as He commands the man to make sacrifices as a testimony to them!
Christian love does not draw attention to self. In fact, Jesus was critical of the religious leaders of His day for this very point. Here is a scripture that communicates this principle:
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.” “Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:1 – 12)
Clearly then, drawing attention to self is not an action favored by Jesus. Christian love is demonstrated in the actions we take for the betterment of others, not ourselves. The works that we do must be done out of a pure love of God and for His glorification, not our own. Our actions should demonstrate humility in the service of God and our fellow man as we walk through this life with our brethren.
When reading the material presented above we must search ourselves for clues to our own behavior. Am I promoting myself or my ministry for the accomplishments that have been or am I giving credit to God for all of His provisions and support? Is my focus on the growth of my ministry or on helping others? Am I in any way drawing attention to myself by way of this ministry? Am I competing with others for power or recognition? The bottom line here is that Christian Love is a focus on God and on others and can never be a focus on self.
The purpose of these postings on the topic of Christian love is to assist anyone who is seeking to become more like their savior Jesus Christ. Our approach is to communicate that the life and words of Jesus are the perfect model of what we hope to become. Our expectation is that the reader will contrast their own words and actions to those of Jesus and make an effort to discover where they fall short of the mark. Once shortcomings are identified then the reader can seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit to help them in moving closer to the perfection of the examples that Jesus left us.
We recommended that every person in ministry reflect upon their worthiness to serve by first studying these examples of Christian love.
We have presented a number of posting that address the principles of Christian Love. Each of them is reinforced by examples taken from the life and words of Jesus. The following list of hyperlinks is provided to help those interested in reading these other postings. Clicking on any of the links below will transfer you to the posting of your choice:
Read the truly amazing life story about how the forces of good and evil battle over a man and the vision that God gives him. Joseph W. Gordon’s Possess the Vision (Xulon Press, $12.95, 140 pages, ISBN 1-59781-205-6) tells about the mysterious spiritual experiences that occur throughout his lifetime.