“After everything is completed, what is really most important? At what cost will you attempt to maintain your reputation? What price have you paid to remain right? How has your need to express your opinion exhibited the heart of Jesus? Shallow victories come at a high price. Only fools are willing to pay for that kind of success. There is still time to make right all of the things that have masked My reasons for your associations. You can take the posture of Christ. You can lose! It’s OK. You can be wrong! Big deal!
"It really is pleasing in My eyes when you give more than all of the others with no desire to gain anything for yourself. Any other posture for living robs you of the joy that I have intended for you. Give more! Love deeper! When no one else is loving you, you love anyway. I am pleased with that kind of behavior. I can use you to represent Jesus.”
1 John 4:18 NIV
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears is not made perfect in love.
It has taken me a long time to begin to understand about perfect love and what the Lord was saying in the above verse. If you would replace the word “punishment” with the more accurate word “loss” the meaning of the verse rings with clarity and amplifies the spirit of the surrounding verses.
Jesus came to “lose” in the sight of those who couldn’t understand, all so that we could “win.” He had no fear of losing His reputation; therefore, He was able to esteem everyone higher than Himself. He “owned” nothing, so there was no fear of loss in His heart. No one can take what is not owned. He even gave His life away long before Pilate attempted to take it. Whatever Pilate did, therefore, held no fear for Jesus. He could even love Pilate - and those who were cursing Him, and those who drove the nails in His hands; and every one of us who reject His ways - perfectly.
Because Jesus loved perfectly, He could function freely in His Father’s will. In fact, His Father’s will was far more important than His own. He loved His Father so perfectly that His own will meant nothing. When functioning like Jesus means more to us than our need to be right, the need to protect our reputation, or the need to win at the expense of someone else losing, our Lord will be able to use us to represent Him to the world.
Forgive me for my priorities, Lord,