I have had an unfailing love for skateboarding for the vast majority of my life, and as I look back on this love that has been such a big part of me, it is obvious that this love has cost me a lot. I have spent thousands of dollars on product and accessories – skateboards, shoes, skate videos, etc. It has cost me countless scrapes and bruises, a whole lot of rolled ankles, and a torn ligament in my knee. Although this is the case, since day one I have paid this cost with a smile on my face because I love it so much. Through all the toll on my body and my finances, I have learned that all love comes with a cost. From a love for something like skateboarding to a romantic love, none of it is real or authentic until we have paid something for it, either with our money, our comforts, or our health.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” and Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst… He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” It is easy to tell someone that we love them, but one thing that we should always keep in mind when we say or hear those words is what did it cost? As we have seen in the pattern above, all love comes at a cost, and without it, love is not real or authentic, so if this God means what He says in these verses, than what did it cost Him? And the answer for the Christian God is obvious, it cost Him leaving His place of comfort and coming down to our level, taking on human flesh, and then to be gruesomely crucified by His own creation. There are a lot of beliefs and religions out there that are competing for our faith and devotion, and whenever we come across one of them, we should always ask ourselves, “does this God profess to love and care for me? And if so, what did it cost Him?” When we ask these questions, we will quickly realize that the Christian God is the only one that has ever demonstrated a love that came at some cost to Him; the only God that has ever demonstrated a real, authentic love for people.
Love needs a cost in order for it to be genuine, and this is obvious in every pattern and type of love in humanity. The Christian God is the only God that has ever paid the cost of love for people. As His followers, we should be able to return that love back to Him and to all people. Jesus says in John 15:12-13, “this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Christ is the example we follow of what it means to love. To love and follow Christ costs us something, but it is really no different than any other kind of love. Love is not love if there is no cost, and that goes for every form that word takes on. Whether it is love for God, a significant other, a friend, a hobby like skateboarding, it all comes with a cost, and when we truly love it, the cost is hardly felt.
What would be a cost we would have to pay in choosing to love Christ? Are any of these costs a burden? Is it a cost we gladly pay like we do with our bodies when we are skateboarding, and with our finances in buying product for skateboarding?
How does the costly love of Christ influence the way you love people? What would be an example of laying down our life for our friends? Think of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37
Pop culture believes nowadays that religion and faith are causes for conflict, brainwashing, and corruption, and advocate that all religion and faith needs to be thrown out. If Jesus’ life consisting of inspiring people to lay down their life for others, where is the conflict? Doesn’t this only improve the state of our world? Is there any validity in these assumptions from pop culture in light of this topic? If people are using Christianity to cause conflict, wouldn’t we agree that they are not doing it right? And that it should be corrected, not thrown out? How can we help correct this assumption in the world in love and without being hostile?