Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)
1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
One of the greatest things about God is that He never expects us to figure this life out on our own. We might be tempted to figure things out for ourselves and even think sometimes that our ideas are better than God’s. However, we can only try living our own way for so long, until finally we realize that God knew the best way to live from the beginning. As Christ followers, He sets the example of walking in the way of love, because He first loved us and gave Himself up for us. When we follow Christ, we die to ourselves and we are a new creation (see 2Cor. 5:17). We are no longer slaves to our sinful ways because of the forgiveness and new life Christ offers us. This means we give up our old way of living and start living out God’s love in our own lives as we share that love (acts of compassion) with those around us.
Sometimes walking in the way of love is hard to do. School is a strong reminder of this! Drama and stress seem to rise to the surface weekly (if not daily) and it can make even the best of us not want anything to do with other people! Similarly, it’s tempting to put ourselves first and only live each day in our comfort zone, ignoring others around us who maybe are in need or have no one to go through life with. When God’s love penetrates our hearts though, we can be reminded that it is by His strength we can show people in our lives immense, sacrificial love. God shows us, by the example of Christ, that we can die daily to our own selfish ways so that we can love and serve those he has placed around us and so that we can bring Him glory (put Him in the spotlight).
When was the last time you felt like giving into your own selfish desires, but chose to follow God’s example of selfless love instead?