Love regularly calls us to give of ourselves – sacrificing our personal interests to bring good to others. But this doesn’t mean we must lose ourselves to love others well. In fact, it’s only when we hold on to who God has created us to be that we can truly and fully give ourselves to others in love.
It’s tempting to assume that loving others means giving them everything they want, even when this means denying who we are in the process. And certainly, it’s noble to look out for the interests of others while being willing to pay the cost necessary to bring them good. But we invite much frustration and bitterness when we lose ourselves in the name of love.
On the one hand, others get a false version of who we are. While they might initially get what they want, the relationship soon rings hollow and they’re not quite sure how to name the shallowness they experience from us. In turn, they keep asking for more and we keep playing the part we think they want from us.
Meanwhile, because this act is not coming from our true self, it starts to feel like we can never measure up or do enough to satisfy. And this eventually causes us to grow resentful and start despising the other and the demands we feel they’ve placed on us.
Love is impaired on both fronts. They don’t get a chance to love our authentic and true self because we never offer it. And we cannot love them well because we’re disconnected from our true heart and filled with bitterness.
Holding on to the truth of who God created us to be is our best path toward the practice of true love. We risk shallow and fake relationships otherwise.
In the end, sacrifice and give of yourself freely without losing yourself in your relationships. True love requires you to live from your true heart.