Those Who Offer


Spiritual maturity depends on sacrificial love. If we want to be like God, then we must offer our strength, love, and joy to others.

It begins in the crib, where we cry out for whatever we need whenever we need it. Everyone expects this of a baby, who is entirely dependent on the sufficiency of others. But if the adults surrounding this child behaved the same way—always taking in and never giving out—the baby wouldn’t survive. No one would. The universe is predicated on mutual sacrifice.

In order to love, we have to put away the habits of childhood (1 Corinthians 13:11). You’ve never seen a room full of toddlers offering each other juice, checking on each other’s diapers, and drying each other’s tears, have you? That’s because they haven’t yet learned to love sacrificially. But they will. Maturity demands it, both in the natural and the spiritual. As we grow up—or, to be more specific, as we grow into the image and nature of God—we begin to pour out and offer ourselves to those around us.

That’s what God is like—a sacrificial lover. If we want to be like him, we will need to offer our strength, love, joy, and glory to others. The world is full of people bent on taking in; it desperately needs those who are already filled up with God and can afford to give their fullness away. Your strength, your love, your joy, and your glory are rare and precious commodities. The more you grow, the more you can offer them. And the more like God you become.

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