That’s a common phrase these days. People say it on the wave of the self-entitlement culture. “I am what I am, I fully embrace it, and you have no right to tell me I am wrong. I won’t change, ever, for anybody. Those who love me must accept for what I am”.
Definitely common. And definitely personal, as well. In the sense that someone I once called friend actually said this to me.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. I want to focus on the phrase “I won’t change, ever, for anybody”.
I sure hope that even a non-Christian sees how that’s the very opposite of love. To say that you’re unwilling to change even the slightest thing about yourself out of love for somebody is the antithesis of love.
As Jesus has taught and demonstrated to the whole world (by offering his life as payment for everyone’s eternal life), love is selfless. Whilst the attitude above is utterly selfish. In Jesus’ own words,
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
The apostle John reiterates that in his first epistle,
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16a)
And of course, there is the evangelistic verse par excellence,
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
But perhaps the best summation of what love is comes from the apostle Paul
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)