All over the world, we read of people who sacrificed for a greater cause-for their country and their people. Each nation celebrates selfless people of noble character and immortalize their great contribution to humanity.
We wonder yet admire how they love their country so much that they are willing to sacrifice and die for it. And we respect and honor them because they are the epitome of benevolence. I’m just a speck of dust wishing I could do great things and be honored through the pages of history.
We are in the age of “me” mentality. You see it everywhere-the train, the store, even social networks, everyone wants to be the center of the universe, the rock star, the trifecta of life.
This is part of the love series that I started for the month, and today is all about love that is not self-seeking.
Esther is a book full of suspense, pageantry, conspiracy, murder,courage and victory. When Haman was promoted and given the higher seat of honor, he demanded that all people kneel down and pay him honor. But when Mordecai refused, Haman’s blood boiled and his eureka moment came when he learned that not only was he refusing to honor him, Mordecai was also Jew!
His way to teach him a lesson? ta dah: a genocide!
I don’t know about you, but if I found out that my race will be eradicated from the face of the earth, I’d pee my pants and lose hair stressing.
Esther is one example of love. She was the queen when the conspiracy was hatched but she feared a lot of things! She feared mainly for her life because how can she tell the king about the plot when she had not been summoned for a long time? A brazen move such as going to the king uninvited meant death.
Mordecai made her realize though that she did not have the immunity as queen, she was after all a Jew. Her defining moment was when she said “And if I perish, I perish.”
Now this is not to say that anarchy or willful disregard of the law is noble. Dying because one is stupid will not make it to the pages of history, maybe TMZ or JackAss, but not legitimate history, sorry.
What Esther did was not out of context. We are still talking about her today because what she did was a selfless, noble and a brave display of her love for her people. She was not arrogant. She was not cunning. She was in fact fearful but tactful. Very smart, too. Her love for her people overcame her fear and saved them in the process.
We don’t have to do great things to be remembered. We don’t even have to worry about not being remembered or honored for our sacrifices or by doing what is right. God commanded us to love our neighbors as our ourselves for a reason. It is not a mystery, it is a commandment we need to obey. To define that kind of neighborly love is easy and simple, executing it could be difficult sometimes.
Loving our country and the people can be done in the most simplest, profoundest way. It starts with respect, genuine concern, consideration and compassion.No grandstanding, no ulterior motives…just the kind of love the apostle Paul described.
Let me end in sharing this poem by Dr. Kent M. Keith:
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
And most of all, love your neighbors as yourself, the kind of love that is not self-seeking.
- Esther 6, Esther 7, Esther 8, Revelation 13 (66books.wordpress.com)
- Crawling through the Bible with Marla Erwin, Esther ch 6 (coachmarlaerwin.wordpress.com)
- Queen Esther’s Love For Her People (lacykitkat.wordpress.com)
- Who Do You Think? (justhappeneduponthis.wordpress.com)