Sure, love does not always come at a cost, but if you are unwilling to pay any cost, can you say that you love? As Jesus told and showed us, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” – [John 15:13]
Notice how Jesus says that “to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” is the greatest love. Also notice that Jesus is equating love to an action. He is not relating it to one’s feelings. Love is an action. You or I could feel like we are in love, but until our actions back that up, it is just a feeling not a reality.
Now, not everyone is able to die for the one’s that we love. Most of us will never have a reason to do so. However, Jesus did not say that the greatest love is dying for one’s friends. He said “to lay down one’s life”. We can do that without physically dying.
We can lay down our lives every day in service towards others. We deny ourselves and our wants for our friends. For most of us, this will first be for our spouse and children. Surely, God does not want us to forget about those closest to us. After we serve those closest to us, we can serve others. One does not feed one’s neighbor before one’s spouse and children.
Laying down our lives in service seems consistent with what Jesus tells us. “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” – [Luke 9:23-24]
Love costs a lot, but the benefits are out of this world!