Being selfless – it’s a lost concept in a culture that screams, “it’s all about me!” In all areas of life, self is out to conquer for personal gain. The biblical mandate to love your neighbor as yourself is foreign to most because, after all, we like to live, breathe and thrive in what Paul Tripp calls“our own little kingdom of self.”
But Tripp doesn’t just identify the struggle. He explains: “You and I have been born into a world that was created to celebrate God. This life is not our party. This life is bigger than your marriage. This life is bigger than your job. It's bigger than your kids and their accomplishments. It's bigger than your vacation or personal comfort. This life is bigger than you.”
A dear friend of mine lives her life in this manner, and she demonstrated it most clearly on my wedding day.
Marlissa and I first met in graduate school. We bonded in the library during long, laborious hours of research. I wouldn’t have survived without her. I’m not exaggerating. She was literally a Godsend, and to Him I am forever grateful for Marlissa and our friendship that still exists, some 13 years later.
So naturally, Marlissa was one of my bridesmaids. She was willingly at my beck and call the entire wedding weekend. She even finished packing my bags for the honeymoon. Again, I don’t think I would have made it without her.
Marlissa is the real deal, the tried and true friend. Her being by my side during my wedding weekend revealed this more than ever, but I didn’t know just how much until weeks after I returned from my honeymoon.
She had refused to tell me that my biggest day was one of her darkest days. While I was outwardly rejoicing, she was inwardly grieving. While I was standing hand in hand with my groom, she was doing all she could to stand. While my husband and I were saying hello to our new life together, she was saying good-bye to life within. While I was getting married, she was miscarrying her first child – and she never said a word!
Why? She said it was because she didn’t want to ruin my big day. But I know it’s because she is selfless. She lives a life that is not her own. She loves others more than herself. And she seeks to reflect Christ in both the good and the bad.
How? Because her heart has been transformed by the goodness of God.
Her silence that weekend spoke volumes to me. Not because it kept from “ruining” my wedding. But because my heart was touched by her selflessness, and my life forever changed by her friendship.
“A friend loves at all times …” (Proverbs 17:17).