by Jan Silvious
A little book, If, by Amy Carmichael, recently caught my attention and stopped me in my tracks. So uncomfortable was I after one or two brief readings that I set the book aside, hoping to forget the impact it had made on my conscience. Rather than asking the Lord to show me what was hindering my obedience, I was actually willing to block that book right out of my mind!
The following excerpts illustrate the power of Miss Carmichael's message:
"If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another, if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love."1
Or try this one:
"If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue in cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love."2
Do you understand why I thought I could just leave that book safely tucked away? I didn't like some of the things I was having to face.
Then my mother came within a few minutes of death quite unexpectedly, and I discovered that love-the love I have for her, the love she has for me, the love we have for the Lord and the love He has for us-is absolutely all that matters. Everything else fades into absolute insignificance. It was at that point that I was finally willing to be honest enough with myself to compare my brand of love with Calvary love.
Read on if you want to take stock of yourself:
"If I do not give a friend ‘the benefit of the doubt,' but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love."3
"If I wonder why something trying is allowed and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love."
Loving with Calvary love means discovering a deeper level of loving that has little to do with emotions. This kind of sacrificial, unselfish love was modeled on Calvary. Calvary love puts other first and loves even when it is undeserved and uninvited! "God demonstrates His own love for us in this; While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
From The 5-Minute Devotional
© Zondervan, 1991