“Parents say strange things.” That’s what I told my older sister, Louise, when Mama passed up all of the good pieces of fried chicken and said, “I prefer the neck.” Years later I realized Mama didn’t really preferred the neck. In those days our family of six was so poor that Mama always took less of everything so we kids could have more. That’s what genuine love does. Above everything else, it’s unselfish.
The Christmas story is all about genuine love—being unselfish. God unselfishly gave his only son. Mary unselfishly accepted a mysterious, holy pregnancy that meant public shame. Joseph unselfishly took Mary as his wife knowing he, too, would face family and public ridicule.
Unselfishness is caring humbly. It’s showing honest affection, genuine love. It’s the opposite of putting yourself first. Unselfishness means “I take less so you can have more.” I put your needs, your feelings, and your well-being before my own.
Jesus said, “Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live” (Mark 8:35b TLB).
Every time I see a plate filled with chicken, before I choose a piece, what do you suppose I think? Of course, I think of my unselfish, godly Mama. And sometimes, it reminds me of how much Jesus loved me and took less that I might have more.