There’s a Bible verse that talks about the greatest love being one that’s willing to self-sacrifice for the sake of others. This verse obviously talks about Jesus and his sacrificial love for us. But I really think that we can sometimes see a closely linked version of this love in our worldly relationships as well.
What does it mean to lay down one’s life for his friends?
The bible verse states that greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. This is found in John 15:13 for those of you who’d like to look at the context. In its context and admittedly the intended meaning this passage is stating that Jesus is the perfect example of God’s love for humanity. He would literally lay down his life, give it up, trade it so that we would experience a secure future. That’s love.
But could there be something more to it? Can you demonstrate this same kind of lay down your life kind of love without dying? I believe it is possible and providing this love hurts just as bad.
Take for instance there’s something you want to do, probably more than anything. You’ve dreamed of this since you were a child. The time never seems right so you keep pushing it back but never stop thinking about it. Then one day the cards line up so that you can move toward that dream. One step after another it seems like this might be your chance. Your life’s dream is less fuzzy than ever. You can almost touch it, it’s so close to becoming reality.
But one day you receive news that causes you to pause. You could move forward with your dream and potentially cause confusion and turmoil in relationships around you. Or you could give up your dream to better serve your friends.
Great love doesn’t just mean dying physically, but sometimes it entails dying to yourself and your passions. It means sacrificing your wants and dreams and even your happiness so that someone else’s life isn’t impacted.
The greatest love was demonstrated when Jesus gave up his whole life for us. When we give up a piece of ourselves for someone else, we demonstrate that same kind of love to the world around us. Be the love you wish someone showed to you. And if someone loves you like this, recognize it for what it is.