100 Things I Know #3 – Sacrifice (Somehow) Is At The Heart of Love



Love is the pursuit of the highest good of and for the other.

(It was Thomas Merton’s work that first gave me these words.) This must necessarily come into conflict with our own desires and pursuits.   The needs and desires of the other must, at some point, trump our own needs and desires.   The setting aside of self on behalf of the good of the other is at the heart of love.

It may or may not be accompanied by positive emotion or romantic warmness. While much of our talk of love is in the context of warm feelings and joyful emotion, in the final analysis, love is an active verb that describes the active pursuit of the highest good of the other.

Yes, balance is needed. Yes, love is a two-way street. (Is it?) Yes, love can and will deplete your energy and leave less for your own needs than you desired, for we are not infinite containers of energy and resources. And…love multiplies our joy.

God is love.  God relentlessly seeks our highest good, for we are the objects of that love, along with all that God has made.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” – Jesus

Hence, the cross.

The apostle Paul said give to the poor, give up your body to be burned—take whatever action you want to—and if it’s without love, it’s nothing.

So intention matters.   I know you can give to the poor and hate them.   I’ve seen it.

Love is the pursuit of the highest good of and for the other.  

Though I’m working on it, I do not claim an understanding of this mystery, nor do I know its best practice.

But I know that somehow, sacrifice is at the heart of love.


One Comment

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  1. Thanks so much for this, Jeff. Perfect timing on this insight. Ruth

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