It was a radical call to sacrificial love when Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He knew that we instinctively love ourselves well. From the first minute that our feet hit the floor in the morning, we pursue our own comfort, peace, and prosperity. Imagine a circle of love drawn just around ourselves. But then Jesus commands us to extend that circle of love! He wants us to walk it across the street to our neighbor’s house, to walk it down the block and across the city. He calls us to care, not just for our own kids, but the kids in our neighborhood; to care about the financial, emotional and physical well being of our neighbors, as well.
To truly love our neighbor as ourself, we need to loosen the grip on our own time, treasure, and talent. We need to make a lifestyle out of giving, instead of an occasion. Loving with such intentional self-sacrifice is possible only when we are gripped by Christ’s sacrificial love. His sacrificial love is so tremendous, so radically good, so full of life, that it compels us. Christ fulfills our greatest need and is our greatest resource, therefore we can Give of ourselves without concern of finite means. We don’t have to hold on to our own possessions, time, or talent with a closed fist. We can trust in God’s provision because he provided so abundantly through Christ. Or as the apostle Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”