Love must dominate one’s will. This is what putting on Christ means. This is the sign by which others know who we are. We see daily in the world what happens when something other than love dominates the will. When the will is controlled by self-interest, anger, vengeance, self-indulgent pleasures, gluttony, etc. it’s not Christ we’re putting on – it’s self! And these are the signs by which others know us.
When the will is dominated by love it seeks first the good of the other. If human nature’s original fault was the overwhelming inclination to seek what is good only for oneself, and if that inclination is what we’ve all inherited, then it is that inclination in our nature which another subtler, deeper inclination in our nature seeks to transcend. And each time that struggle is won it tends to instill more firmly in our wills the desire to serve rather than be served.
If we ask, “What would You do?” this, in a very real sense, is the answer. You transcended Your human nature by Your will – which is also the will of the Father – which is love!
So, when we will to love we follow You and we transcend our nature, as You did. Yet the milieu in which we attempt to accomplish this is fraught with other people all around us whose wills have directed them mostly to serving their own wants. Indeed, whole cultures operating under this intent often surround us with their influence. Hence we are dominated by the “me-first” philosophy of life, or by flagrantly pragmatic socio-economic systems, or by the politics of the state. Transcending these results of our human inclinations brings us back to our true selves, our true spiritual center within society and culture. The acknowledgment and concern first for the other pre-empts ”me-first” and pre-empts pragmatic philosophies and systems based on “rugged individualism.” Our true self is the image and likeness of God in us.