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Loving Unselfishly
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A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee." The husband said, “You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee." Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee." Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me." So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says ... "HEBREWS." 

Now that's biblical exegesis at its best! Who would've thought! I always wondered what the meaning of that New Testament book title was.

It's interesting how so many of our interactions with others degenerate into who's right as the most important factor. We love to pull out the "big guns" as authorities backing our positions so as to make us unbeatable. In the end, it becomes more important to be right than to be relational.

Concerned about the Man

Martin Buber, the pre-eminent Jewish philosopher and essayist, one of the foundational scholars impacting the study of interpersonal communication during the 20th century, once wrote: "When I meet a man, I am not concerned about his opinions. I am concerned about the man. I think no human being can give more than this. Making life possible for the other, if only for a moment."

Imagine how the exchange between that husband and wife would look had they had this desire in mind—to make life possible for the other. Sounds a bit like living sacrificially and unselfishly—the definition of love that Jesus demonstrated. Here's the way Jesus described it: "You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).

Imagine being a relationship where each person chose to give life to the other, to serve unselfishly the other, like Jesus. Isn't that what you would like for your relationships?

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By Greg Nelson. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the New Living Translation © 1996.

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