Genuine love does not consume the object of its affection. In Psalm 26:9-10, David asks God to spare him from judgement because he has not been a bloodthirsty man, “in whose hands are evil devices, and whose right hand are full of bribes.”
When we think of bloodthirsty men, we correctly conjure up images of abortion doctors, husbands who murder their wives while on their honeymoon, and large corporations that stick thousands of employees in unsafe buildings that collapse and kill hundreds of poor people.
But the heart of bloodthirsty person does not reside exclusively on Wall Street or in the palaces of government power. It resides in senior adults, young men, and little kids. The bloodthirsty devour the lives of others for their own success. The senior adult who befriends a high school student to get some technology help and then reneges on the contract employs evil devices. The young man who attends church to secure the love of his future wife and then removes himself from fellowship once rings are exchanged has taken advantage of others. And, the child who befriends the ‘smart girl’ so she can improve her grades and then refuses to sit next to her at lunch once grades are posted possesses the soul of the bloodthirsty. Those who love people like they love their favorite food reveal that have never loved.
True love does not consume others; it benefits others. If we love others well they should thrive at our expense. We should skip buying a new pair of shoes so that we can help our out-of -work neighbor buy groceries even though he can never repay us. We should invest in the life of the student, knowing we may never see her again and knowing she will bless countless others. And, we should take the senior adult to his doctor appointments even though he will never thank us because we desire to him healthy enough to attend church. If we love others, we will bless others, for this is the love of Christ.
He died for us because he loved us. He gets nothing from us and yet gives us eternal love. Those who have experienced the selfless love of God as they repented and believed on the finished work of Jesus should love selflessly. The world will know we are Christians by our love.
What about you? Will you be spared from judgment because you have love well?