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Love is selfless DAY 6

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoiceswith the truth. 7 It always protects, always

trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

As I just finished some home chores and missed our dear Angie, I was thinking of how lazy at serving I have become. Maybe it’s just me, but so much of our world has evolved around making life as comfortable and easy as possible. Now that I have to think twice before leaving the kitchen dirty (because I’ll have to clean it later on), I feel the need to serve more. To be more selfless. But it is always difficult. And I believe for you as well.

In December I was re-reading a little book that I first picked up when I was 19. It then changed my life and it did so again during the holidays. It is not for the faint hearted. It hit me hard as it did so many years ago, but it brought so much freedom. Calvary Road, by Roy Hession was written in the 1950’s – a call to the selfless life. A life that leads to true, lasting happiness. This is one of my favorite quotes from his classic:

“People imagine that dying to self makes one miserable. But it is just the opposite. It is the refusal to die to self that makes one miserable. The more we know the death of Him, the more we shall know of His life in us, and so the more, of real peace and joy. “

it is not self-seeking

I always advised dating couples before they want to get serious in their relationship, to go on a hiking trail together. If afterwards they still like each other, then they can go ahead! From now on I might suggest a lockdown… It presses all the buttons and in every discomforting moment our true self is revealed. It’s sometimes scary for me to see myself like that.

Now remember, I am a pastor and according to many public opinions supposed to have it all together, all figured out. But no, like any other human I need a Savior. Close to 25 years ago I surrender my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and I am still under construction. The big word for that is sanctification, to be made holy. You can ask my wife, that takes time. But I am OK with it. Not making any excuses for this ‘old I’ to die, I run to the cross and ask for his mercy and grace every time I get it wrong. When my temper flares, when my thoughts drift, when unbelief clouds my heart. I turn to the cross, repent and surrender myself again.

When Paul says love is not self-seeking he once again points us to the perfect love of Christ, who gave his life as a love-offering to save us from our greatest enemy – ourselves. And this gives me daily hope. Even in this lockdown where I sometimes are longing for space, to not do the dishes, to not have to school the kids. This gives me hope that the more I die to myself, the more His perfect love can grow and show in and through me. May you also find the true happiness and joy that comes from I life that doesn’t seek the self, but Him and others first!

Stay safe and stand strong.

Retief


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