One word perfectly sums up my mom’s love for me—availability. Countless tear-filled midnight chats during my teen years, regular “taxi service” to help me run errands, and her commitment to drop whatever she’s doing to greet me at the door with a smile and a hug even if I show up unannounced—these are some of the ways she loves me well.
This kind of generous availability requires sacrifice. She denies the sacrifice, saying it’s her joy to do it. Though a sweet sentiment, she never fools me. Loving me well costs her—sleep, time, the gas in her car, food, energy, and her daily agenda.
Jesus said in John 15:13, ”Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Few of us will actually die for someone else. But our lives consist of time, energy, and resources, and loving well demands that we sacrifice some of those things. Rarely convenient or comfortable, loving well is costly.
Sacrificial love opposes our selfish nature. We won’t love others sacrificially without the transforming work of Jesus Christ. Willing, joyful, sacrificial love begins when we recognize and humbly receive the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:19).