2 Corinthians 12:15 “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”
Our level of commitment is not always evident. We can exert as much work and effort. Yet, when it requires the next level of commitment, those who step up and those who slink away are seen more clearly.
More importantly, each knows inwardly what we give and what we hold back. Could we have done more? When playing football, one of my most admired coaches said, “You had best leave it all on the field, or you will regret the loss for not having done your best.”
There are some things worthy of giving our all. Whether it is marriage, parenting, or living the Christian life, I would hate to look at any of those situations, thinking, “I could have better,” or “I could have done more.”
The Apostle Paul was admonishing the church at Corinth as well as we who read, to give our best as we only have one shot at it.
What motivates us to do our best?
Is it the accolades?
Is it the praise and favor of men?
Is it the earthly rewards?
Is it the satisfaction of a job well done?
Many of these can motivate us to participate and do well. But what is it that pushes you to the next level? To “leave it all on the field,” as my coach told us? Especially in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the end of the passage today, Paul says,
“…though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.”
He pulled no punches as to what to expect. The more we live for God, the less we will be loved here on this earth. Why is that?
God strips away the peripheral things that could take our hearts in a carnal direction. A famous hymn contains the words:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
When our hearts grow more fond of the food we eat, the company we keep, and the pleasures we seek, we must reevaluate what our focus is.
Seeking that which is eternal must captivate our soul. There will be things that need our attention. Job, bills, home upkeep, family, and friends need maintenance like everything else. But what consumes our hearts?
Is it preparation for the day we stand before the Savior? I sometimes imagine what I might feel seeing the nail prints in the hands and feet of the One who paid the price for me to enter Heaven?
Will I have been grateful enough on earth to thank and praise Him for the gift of salvation?
Have we taken the time to realign our priorities to lay up treasures in Heaven more than my 401k or IRA?
It is the heart of this author not to have regrets upon my entry into Heaven.
Is it yours as well?