Now, how can you love someone selflessly? I talked about my desire in my previous post to love my husband with “agape love” and wishing to say goodbye to the ‘nagging girlfriend’ gradually (not gonna be an instant, but I hope by end of this year there will be a major improvement in my mind and life).
How can I be a ‘good person’ if Paul in the Bible wrote “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18)?
First thing has to start from humility, by accepting the condition that I myself am not perfect, yet God loves me so much.
He loves me by giving me gift of life, everything I need and people He knows will shape me to be more like Him (whether those people are ‘good’ or ‘unfair’ towards me). Everyday I have the confidence to talk to the almighty God and am justified to have a personal relationship with Him, not because I am a righteous, but because Jesus has lend His righteousness clothes for me to wear.
I was taken aback when yesterday my pastor at his sermon said that despite of those pictures of Jesus hung on the cross with a piece of cloth around His waist, He was actually naked! My heart was so crushed knowing this ‘new’ history fact, even as I am writing this at the moment as the google result of this topic out of my curiosity showing/acknowledging similar actuality. The humiliation of nakedness was part of the punishment conducted by the Romans for criminals and as a way to put fear in the rest of the public.
John 19:23-24 (The Message) say:
“When they crucified him, the Roman soldiers took his clothes and divided them up four ways, to each soldier a fourth. But his robe was seamless, a single piece of weaving, so they said to each other, “Let’s not tear it up. Let’s throw dice to see who gets it.” This confirmed the Scripture that said, “They divided up my clothes among them and threw dice for my coat.” (The soldiers validated the Scriptures!)
Although I could also find many debates about whether Jesus was really naked or not, my heart, mind, and this entry are all devoted for the immense shame He had to endure, and what is the sacrifice for? For me, and for each of every men God creates!
God knows if we, sinful by nature, try to love others by our human effort consistently, we will be either tired or biting our tongue (meaning we do it forcefully not joyfully) eventually. Even for a person who is such a kind and lovely, he/she must have selfish thoughts or ambitions deep in his/her mind during or not when he/she is performing their good deeds. Our human love is vain, and is often affected by emotions and circumstances around us. None of us can love others, even our dearest soul mate, naturally. That is because “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), “doing/being a 100% good person all the time in our entire life” is just impossible, if we struggle by our own.
But this post is also not about ‘being a perfect person’. My goal is not to be perfect per se, but to draw my strength to love my husband, child, and others by the example that Jesus has performed. Love that is so great, selfless and life-changing, nobody will be the same after they are touched personally by this kind of love.
If Jesus has loved and accepted me the way I am, why can I extend the same love and grace that I have received freely to others who “fall short” in my own view?
The key is to embrace Jesus’ human life and His crucifixion into my daily life for me to ‘have the same mindset as Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:5). I have to admit even as a mature Christian, sometimes I have difficulty to ‘make’ Jesus’ sacrifice at the cross real in my life, daily. Often it has become simply ‘a well-known story’ and I hardly can “conceive” it “emotionally”. Knowing the historical fact I’ve just explained at above can be a “remedy” for me in ‘comprehending’ the great shame He had to endure, making me more thankful for what He has done, helps and motivates me to be more loving toward others.
But then again, as I’m writing this I know what I also need to change, I cannot depend on my emotion to be like Christ and have the same mindset like Him. Maybe from time to time, movies, pictures, or any ‘new facts’/things can be helping tools for me to embrace and understand more of how deep His love for me is, but fundamentally, loving others the same way like Jesus loves me is a choice, my own choice.
It will be my lifetime journey, but I don’t want to waste the time either if I have been given the opportunity to make real change from now on. I’ll get down to write “how to put this into practice” later, but for now, I am so thankful that Jesus had died for me at the cross, it is the source of beginning of every good change in my life.