Giving Your Life Away
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
On April 16, 2007, a gunman went on a killing rampage across the campus of Virginia Tech. In Norris Hall, students in Professor Liviu Librescu's classroom heard gunfire and shouting from the next classroom. Librescu, a seventy-seven-year-old Holocaust survivor, told his students to escape through the classroom windows while he braced himself against the door. As students dropped to the ground outside, the professor held the door shut against the gunman.
Then a bullet came through the door and took his life.
Jesus taught that the ultimate act of generosity is to give up one's life for someone else. He set the example when he gave his life to save us. As we act out his love, we will be ready to give ourselves to others. That might mean sacrificing our lives, as Librescu did. It might mean setting aside our plans in order to care for someone in need. It might mean offering what is most precious to us so that we can embrace what is most precious to God.
When we learn how God wants us to love others, we will "lay down" our lives daily by giving ourselves in self-sacrificing love.
Lord, I want to be ready to give even my life to love others. Help me know how to start loving others with that level of generosity.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.