I John 3:16 says: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for our brethren.” This verse should challenge those of us who claim to be Christian brothers & sisters. It commands us to “lay down our lives” for each other. This sounds like a noble idea in principle, but it actually plays itself out in the little details of life which are not nearly as glamorous.
We might hope that we would be willing to literally “lay down our lives” for others in the church, but what evidence do we have that we would really do that? Are we willing to “lay down our lives” in very small ways even now? “Laying down our lives” doesn’t have to mean literally dying for someone. It can mean “laying down” your own desires or preferences on behalf of others. This gets very specific:
— it might mean “laying down” our own preference for the type of music we want to have in the worship service, so that it might minister to others.
— it might mean “laying down” the classroom that we have seen as “ours”
because another class which is larger, or growng, has greater need of it.
— it might mean “laying down” my opinion on some issue of preference in the church, to maintain the unity of the body, that the church might move forward together, without division.
Would we really be willing to “lay down our lives for the brethren” one day, as I John 3:16 speaks of? To get some idea, we might check and see how we are doing with “laying down” the little things for them in the church right now!