“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
While this quote is commonly referred to in the context of the crucifixion of Jesus, there are many other levels of “laying down [one’s] life for [one’s] friends” which are worthy of consideration and actualization. For starters, when you truly love another person, you bestow your life to them come “hell or high water” as it is said. You hold out your hand for them no matter how intense the pressure, no matter how you feel personally in the moment.
But it doesn’t stop there. You draw near unto them in their times of greatest need. You “go the extra mile” for them in all you do, and you serve not on the basis of need (for that is a bottomless pit) but on the basis of their interest in and response to the truth of themselves and the truth of love. In true friendship as in true love, assistance is offered and received in humility and with a depth of appreciation.
Judgment never enters the picture, for judgment cements in those elements which would otherwise be purified by the flowing current of love. A true friend never plays the role of judge, jury, and executioner, for people judge themselves and they don’t need any help in that regard! If anything, they might need help to relinquish judgment, to let go of fears, and to let go to a deeper experience of friendship and love.
This is why you can love you friends and your enemies. Love draws near that which is consistent with its spirit and repels that which is not. People don’t need to do that to one another; love does it automatically. That said, love needs a voice, a heart, and hands to be heard, felt, and seen on earth. Love is a spirit and that spirit needs a form, especially given human consciousness the way it now is. Love needs me. Love needs you.
Love one another and never forget: you are loved.