“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
LOVE MEANS MANY THINGS TO MANY PEOPLE. It can mean a casual “crush.” It can mean true romance. It can mean marital commitment. It can mean sexual ardor. All of these things, and many more, are involved in love. Love always involves a DESIRE, but in its higher forms, the desire is to give something to the beloved. So what would be the HIGHEST thing that a lover could desire for his or her beloved? What is it that true love really wants?
Here it is: LOVE WANTS THE HIGHEST GOOD OF THE BELOVED. I understand that “highest good” will be defined very differently from person to person, but true love will always want the HIGHEST needs of the beloved to be met, whatever those needs are thought to be. And not only that, true love will serve those needs SACRIFICIALLY. That is, a lover will give up things of great goodness so that the beloved can obtain a good that would not be possible without the sacrifice.
Whatever might be true of those outside of Christ, Christians certainly ought to understand the importance of sacrificial love, for that’s the very kind of love which Christ demonstrated. Paul said that “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He become poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” At the cross, Christ redefined love for all time to come. And if we are His followers, growing in likeness to His character, we cannot fail to emulate His quality of love in our dealings with those whom we love. “True spirituality manifests itself in . . . the desire to see others advance at one’s expense” (A. W. Tozer). Love’s highest desire is not only for the other person to have what he or she needs, but it says, “Here, let me pay for it. Let me make it possible for you to have it. Let me do without, so you can have what you need.”
This definition of love obviously goes far beyond romantic love, as wonderful as that is. Romantic love is not wrong, but there is a finer love that each of us can have one for another. From that love flows a true desire which says, “I want above all for you to have what you need, even if I can’t have it along with you.”
“In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person” (Margaret Anderson).
Gary Henry – WordPoints.com