Articles by Stan Dean

Learning To Love Like Jesus

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Learning to love like Jesus is one of the most challenging tasks any Christian faces. One of the elements of His love is loving others as much as we do ourselves (cf. Matthew 22:39). It comes pretty natural for most of us to love ourselves, but esteeming someone else to an equal role? Well, that usually involves a learning curve.

At times I am reminded of this lesson from the most unlikely of sources. For example, my daughter just celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago. Her son (our grandson) had spent the day with us and we were meeting her for dinner. Our tradition has been with our kids that we take the birthday honoree out for their birthday and they get to choose the restaurant.

We called her that afternoon to see where her taste buds were taking us to dine. Unfortunately, for my wife and me she chose an eatery that neither one of us likes that well. On the way to meet her that evening our grandson inquired as to where we were going to eat. When we told him, he replied, “I wish we were going to Cracker Barrel!” Now, that is one of our favorite places to eat and we quickly saw this as our saving grace. So, we suggested that we call his mom and tell her that her son reeeeally wanted to go to Cracker Barrel!

Apparently, he did not buy our line of reasoning though. He simply said, “No, we should go where mommy wants to go, because she gets to choose.” So, guess where we went?

On the one hand I could say, four-year-olds are getting a little too smart for their own good these days! On the other hand, I could more correctly say it is no wonder that Jesus taught, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” and “whoever humbles himself as a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3, 4).

Paul addressed this same subject in his writings: “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” He then nails down the thought with, “Let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:3-5).
Yep, a four-year-old got it- - and we must get it too!

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