Men lack no love; it’s just that the objects of their love differ. Some are willing to sacrifice themselves to meet the needs of others, and we regard them as filled of love. Others sacrifice others to meet their own needs, and we label them as lack of love. In reality, both types of people have love; it’s just that the former loves others more than themselves, while the latter loves themselves more than others.

The world constantly tells us, directly and indirectly, that life is short, and we should strive to satisfy ourselves. Mutual benefit is an ideal, but sometimes, one must prioritize oneself even at the expense of others. That’s the harsh reality. Everyone inevitably faces it; no one is exempt, not even Christians.

Sometimes, the world prevails. Some seek to satisfy their vanity by pursuing approval and praise. The Pharisees are a clear example, as their lengthy prayers aim to win people’s praise (Matthew 23:14; Luke 18:11), and their good deeds are performed for human glory (Matthew 6:2). Some seek power to satisfy themselves, using various means to harm their opponents if necessary. Just as the priests and Pharisees sought to eliminate Jesus because He did not align with them (John 11:53). Others pursue wealth to satisfy themselves, like Zacchaeus (Luke 19:7), who became wealthy by exploiting others as a tax collector. Similarly, the rich young ruler, driven by his love for wealth, missed the opportunity to follow Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22).

In Jesus Christ, the world fails. Some forsake worldly glory to walk the path of sacrificial love for the Lord. Paul, for the sake of Jesus, gave up everything to gain the surpassing worth of Christ (Philippians 3:8). In the 19th century, the Cambridge Seven included sons of wealthy businessmen, barons, generals, and doctors. They could have enjoyed all the worldly splendor, but they chose the path of the cross and went to remote villages in China for missionary work. Some even died in foreign lands. Some follow Jesus’ example of washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), choosing positions of service with the power they possess. Abraham Lincoln, the president, exemplified this. Some, for the sake of the Lord, forsake worldly wealth and wholeheartedly follow Him. Apart from Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), William Borden did the same. He abandoned immense wealth to serve the Lord and proclaimed to the world, ‘No Reserves—No Retreats—No Regrets.’

For Christians, the road to the kingdom is difficult. Jesus declared it early on: ‘In this world, you will have trouble.’ (John 16:33). But Jesus also followed with the proclamation, ‘But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33). May you choose to follow Jesus, stand against the world, and live victorious in Jesus Christ. In doing so, one day, we can declare like Paul, ‘Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.’ (2 Timothy 4:8).

May you be victorious in the Lord.

Rev. Raphael Chow