“Don’t cross Oceans for someone who wouldn’t jump a puddle for you.” This quote circulates the internet gaining thousands of retweets, likes and comments in agreement.
I’ve found that it is so easy to carry this mindset to protect myself from being hurt by people. After rough patches in friendships and relationships, abiding by the mentality that I should give others only as much as I am getting back seems a lot more logical and ten times easier.
After I left for college, simply leaving behind the people who didn’t seem to have an interest in being my friend or putting forth the effort to keep in touch was the fair option, right?
As my first semester at a college a thousand miles away from home has progressed I have come to the realization of how flawed this mentality is. If there is one thing I know in life, I know this is not the way I am called to live. As a Christian I believe I am called to live selflessly, sacrificially, and in love. I am called to hold the door and let others pass when I’m running late, to skip going out on Friday night to be with a friend who needs me, and to continue to love those who run from it.
Living selflessly is not always easy, but it is right.
In Matthew 5:44 (NIV) Jesus says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
When Jesus came to earth, he faced hundreds of people who didn’t respect Him, accept Him or care to be anywhere near Him. He embraces those who despise Him. He heals those who do not believe Him. He authentically lives out perfect love.
I know that I can’t love others perfectly, but I can at least try to model the love Jesus shows me daily. I can slip encouraging texts to the friends I know are struggling through finals week, even if we haven’t talked much all semester. I can make more of an effort to think of what I can do for others rather than what they can do for me.
So I’m going to cross oceans for the people who might not do the same for me, because that’s how Jesus lived. Loving selflessly, walking humbly and giving of myself generously.