It’s nearly every man and woman’s desire to be known and to know others. In fact, we spend the first decades of our life developing ourselves and seeking to make lifelong friendships all to better to know others and ourselves.
This, of course, is a natural desire. God made us to be known and to know others intimately because he is the same with us. He loved and knew us when we were still in our mother’s womb. We can intimately be known and know others because Christ has given us the capacity for a love that has no fear.
However, like all good things God has done, man continually finds a way to distort and pervert this natural desire.
In our society today we have seen the idea of self-love and self-help become increasingly popular. As Christians we should recognize that true love comes from Christ because we were so disabled in our sin that Christ had to make a way for us to walk in godly relationship with him and others. We needed Christ so desperately that he had to come down from heaven and give his life as a perfect sacrifice just so that we could be restored in perfect relationship with Jesus.
What often becomes the temptation is to displace Christ in the arena of love and, instead, place ourselves as the sole author and source of love. We, instead, ignore our depravity and say we are sufficient as is; we attempt to overlook this depravity by loving others when really it is us attempting to love ourselves in selfish ambition.
Millenials this is a trap we need to be wary of. How many times, in our heart of hearts, do we hope others will love us because we have loved them first?
The reality is that, without Christ, our love is a mere extension of selfishness. We will not know true, sacrificial love until we acknowledge that Christ is the one who loved us sacrificially first.
There have been many times in my life where I have sat down with someone for lunch and experienced this type of trap. Both us have a ton of things to say about “holy” topics such as church and organizations and really our only goal is to get our say in so that we can somehow validate our ideas. Have you ever witnessed a self-validating conversation? Both sides use the word “I” frequently and the responses to those statements are simply a caveat into another conversation that continues to over validate each individual. The conversation, though full of solidarity, is anything but. The conversation is actually an exchange of moments of selfish validation and not for the edification of the person sitting across the table.
When we give our lives to Christ we say goodbye to every need for validation and get every bit of our worth from the cross and what Christ has done for us. When we give our “yes” to Christ, we no longer have to worry about being seen by others and the positive or negative opinions they might have of us.