In 2010, newspapers ran a story about “Curly” Veith, a rich man and a Christian, who died at age 95. When his business was flourishing, Curly said, “I used to lie awake at night thinking of the hungry and homeless children all over the world. So I decided to give all my money away to help them!” He has given away more than $23 million.
He has set up Mission Enterprise Limited to channel funds to worthy causes everywhere – American Indians in Colorado, street kids in Bangkok, water wells in East Africa and land for a school in Australia. He has contacted other rich business people and challenged them to give generously to needy people and projects.
Clearly this elderly man has taken to heart Jesus’ message to his followers the night before he died when he said: “I give you a new commandment: love one another; just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
The love that imitates the love of Jesus for others is a practical, unconditional, down-to-earth kind of love. It involves a compassionate love that is self-forgetting and self-sacrificing so that others might be free – free to be good, kind, unselfish, generous and loving persons too.
Jesus showed us this type of love for people in so many wonderful ways – in kindness, compassion, generosity, patience, perseverance, endurance, faithfulness and forgiveness. There was no limit to what his love would give.
True love is the opposite of selfishness. Selfishness confines us, keeps us shut in. It builds barriers, even walls, between us and others. What frees us is caring about others and caring for others, being friends, being sisters and brothers, being good neighbors. In short, it’s love alone that frees us from the bondage of selfishness.