Monday, June 24, 2013

Selfishness and Thoughts from "If" by Amy Carmichael

Oh so long ago when I got married my mom gave me a gift.  It is a little book that I have valued and treasured called IF by Amy Carmichael.  It is a short look at some thoughts that came to Ms. Carmichael as she contemplated her Savior and His love and her own sometimes lack of love.  My husband Steve often says that the opposite of love is not hate, but selfishness.  My mom knew that marriage would require me to love my husband more and myself less and even to think about myself less.  She has always been such an example of putting others before herself.  I have learned much from her.  And I have been reading this book for twenty three years and counting... Thanks Mom!

IF I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

IF I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve around myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have "a heart at leisure from itself," then I know nothing of Calvary love.

IF at the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold, I do not shut the door, and in the power of Him who works in us to will and to do, keep that door shut, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Now, Ms. Carmichael, and my mom even, were not saying that they know nothing of Calvary love.  But Calvary love refers to our beloved Jesus Christ, who loved us so perfectly, so unselfishly that He chose to become our Substitute (2Cor. 5:21).  He chose, although He lived a perfect life and did not deserve punishment, to take the penalty of my sin - to die in my place and win for me undeserved acceptance and love by God.  Wow - this is Calvary love and I fall so short of it.  But by the grace and mercy of God He is working in me!

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