Emptying Myself

Solicitude: The state of being concerned or anxious. Attentive care and protectiveness. An attitude of earnest concern and attention.

I came across the word solicitude while in conversation recently and was immediately reminded of Jesus. While I don’t profess to know completely the mind of Christ, I imagine he feels a deep-seated concern for the lost of this world. The love he showed us through his sacrificial death bears this out. So it would reason that, as a follower of Christ, I should attempt to show the same care and concern for the lost of the world today.

We find an excellent example of this in Romans 9:1-3. Paul, showing love for the people of Israel, writes, “I speak the truth in Christ- I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit- I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers.”  

He is in complete anguish over the lost, so much so that he would give up his own salvation for the sake of his brothers. I had to read that passage several times before it hit me that Paul has truly taken on the mind of Christ. He’s willing to sacrifice all for the hope of salvation for others.

That’s the kind of love I want to grow into. The kind that doesn’t just focus on the study of God’s word for the sake of knowledge, but study for the purpose of action. So I will ask you the same questions I’ve asked of myself lately:

  • How much do you think about people?
  • When is the last time you wept for the lost?
  • Are the lost more important than meeting your own needs?

These are questions I think God would have us consider if we are going to be effective for him in this world. And in order to answer them the way Jesus would, I have to empty myself like Christ did to truly love and care for others.

 

Empty yourself in order to love
Empty yourself in order to love

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death- even death on a cross!”

(Philippians 2:3-8)

I’ve realized that while I’m studying, thinking hard about God and getting to know him better, there are those in the world who need me. They may not know where their next meal is coming from. They may have lost all hope due to a bad situation in their life. The question is, what am I going to do about it?  Is there love there?  Does it bother me and am I heartbroken over their condition?  Do I learn about God so I can better only myself or so I know how to love others?

These are all questions every Christian must ask of themselves if they are going to understand the mind of Jesus. But also important is the soul waiting out there for us to take action. Some may never see God unless they see our love. And when they see our love and concern, they get a glimpse of the God we profess to know and care so much about.

-Joe

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