Why are Christians willing to suffer for the sake of others? Why do they choose to sacrifice for those they don’t even know? Why do they take the initiative to risk their lives in order to serve the lowly and marginalized of society? Time and time again, they choose to personally absorb the hurt and overcome the difficulties. They make the adjustments required to accommodate the preferences of those they are serving rather than asking them to change. Why do Christians do this?
They do this because they are following the example of Jesus. Jesus laid aside all that He had in heaven and became a man in order to serve, suffer and die that sinners might live. Jesus didn’t leave heaven kicking and screaming about what He had to give up or about the sacrifices He would have to make on earth. He wasn’t an angry man, rather people wondered aloud at His compassion and the gracious way He spoke to others.
Jesus was involved in a hard ministry. He had to labor among proud and arrogant religious leaders who were out to serve themselves rather than the people they were called to lead. He had to patiently correct the mishandling and manipulation of scripture. He had to go to the temple and minister alongside of these corrupt religious leaders. Yet, He did so freely and joyfully for sake of those He came to save.
May we have the same attitude of Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped. Instead, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, being made in the likeness of men for the sake of those He came to save.
Are we holding on tight to our rights and preferences or are we choosing to love and serve those around us? By the grace of God, let’s choose to love.