Jesus taught us that the ultimate act of love is to lay down our lives for others. In fact, Jesus stated, “The Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may have it back again” (John 10:17).
People who consider the needs of others ahead of their own are true shepherds in the spirit of Jesus. On the other hand, people with hireling spirits are concerned only for what relates to their own well-being.
Paul said, “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare” (Philippians 2:20). The true love of Christ is defined in 1 John 3:16: “We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.”
Just as David abandoned his own safety and went to rescue Keilah (1 Samuel 23:2), we must abandon our own self-interests and begin to lay down our lives for others. We will not lose our lives; we will take them up again!