A baby-boomer aged woman bought a new line of expensive cosmetics guaranteed to make her look younger. After hours of applying the "miracle" products, she turned to her husband, "Honey, honestly now, what age would you say I look?"
He thoughtfully replied, "Well, judging from your skin, twenty. Your hair, eighteen. Your figure, twenty-five."
"Oh, you're so sweet!" the lady cooed.
"Well, hang on, I'm not done adding it up yet."
When we evaluate someone’s success, what do we consider? How many diplomas he collected? How much money she made? A happy marriage? How did the kids turn out? Those are important ways to succeed, but “hang on; we’re not done adding it up yet!”
Jesus, Son of God, had omniscience; he knew more about energy than Einstein, more words than Webster. His I.Q. made the folks at Mensa look simple. He had omnipotence; with complete control of the world, he had a fortune exceeding any other. As Creator, he invented fine arts. He wrote songs for the birds, painted sunrises, and sculpted mountain ranges. Plus, he enjoyed perfect holiness in a perfect environment.
Then, he gave it all up for his greatest accomplishment – the one that matters most to us. He loved us - simple, unconditional, unending love for his enemies. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13). But Jesus went beyond dying for his friends. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
I believe Jesus would cite that as his greatest accomplishment. Of all the possible virtues, Paul proclaimed, “the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Without love, even if I speak like angels and understand all the mysteries of the universe, “I am nothing” (13:2).
On the top of the virtue tree, Peter placed the shining star of love. He put it higher than just “brotherly love” (2 Peter 1:7). It is good to love family; it’s something more to love those who fight you. It is easy to love those who are like us; it’s far more difficult to love those who seem strange to us. It comes almost naturally to love those who love us; it takes something supernatural to love those who hate us.
There may be many worthy accomplishments in life. But until we add to brotherly kindness, love, we aren’t done adding it up yet.