Verse of the day
1 John 3:16

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (NIV)

What does this look like to you? The laying down of one’s life. It’s very popular in our society, especially in literature, films, and movies, for people to be “redeemed” when they die for others. Even more so when the person dying has been the antagonist of the story. We look to people who die for others in real life as “heroes.” However, I believe that the meaning of this verse goes beyond physically dying for another person.

I have a lot of thoughts on this issue and many situations come to mind. I will address what I believe to be the “heart” of self-sacrifice; of laying down our lives for others. I see it as not retorting when someone says something unkind to you, being patient while you wait in that holiday line to buy those gifts. It’s giving of your time to listen to your friend’s anecdote for the millionth time. It’s putting aside your own desires and wants to help someone fulfill their own. Just a few thoughts.

I’ll go so far as to say it’s living a life of humility. An idea in stark contrast to the world in which we live. A world where we look out for number one: ourselves. It seems no matter how impoverished a nation or individual, there’s still a lot of taking care of ourselves before we consider other people. If we consider other people at all. I believe this mindset to be part of the human condition stemmed from the law of the sinful nature and a  consequence of living in a broken world where we’re all broken.

Living a life of humility is a powerful life. Those who strive to be first in line, to shine in the spotlight and speed along these avenues of life often miss out on the journey itself. However, in a life of humility, the pace allows one to see the world for what it is and then respond to it in love. Along the journey, we get to see all the sights. The beauty and the ugliness. I believe that those who walk in humility serving others, laying down their lives daily, in service, get the full tour of this life.

I don’t believe that the intention of this passage means to die one time physically for another person. I believe the essence behind this verse has more to do with what Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:31 and to the Philippians in Philippians 2:3-8.

Therefore, laying down my life for others is one in which I try and put others first. A try, if you didn’t know, in Rugby, is a score. So, when I try, I score. When I score, I always score one for the home team. Our team, I call it, Team Humanity.