Reflections: Present Love for Future Joy

Earlier today, our pastor preached on re-igniting our love for Christ and others. He shared how he asked his golf mates to show him some tips & tricks, which eventually made him win. One of them told our pastor why he did it: “kung saan ka masaya.” He meant that he sacrificed his winning streak because he wanted our pastor to be happy.

I reflected on that phrase: “kung saan ka masaya” / where you will be happy. Sometimes making people happy means giving them what they truly desire with an immediate positive result, like the excitement one feels when he receives the item on his wishlist. But many times, true love demands doing the uncomfortable & inconvenient, the results of which take time: like waking up at 3 AM to feed a hungry baby. Resigning from a dream career to invest more time with the kids. Respecting an unreasonable parent. Confronting someone with the truth that could rock the relationship. Many times, true happiness & lasting joy is preceded by sacrifice & inconvenience. Many times, our acts of love do not always have immediate, pretty results, yet we must do them because we want the beloved to experience true joy in the future. My parents disciplined/spanked me then so that I can reap the joy of good character & behavior today.

Kung saan ka liligaya” —a Tagalog phrase that roughly translates: “where you will (eventually) be joyful.” Love that is both present & future. “I love you, and because I love you I seek your present & future good even if it means sacrifice on my part.” That’s what Jesus demonstrated when He hung on the cross. He humbled Himself because of the joy set before Him. He loved sinners because of the joy set before Him—the joy of seeing His beloved reconciled to Him, no longer plagued by sin.

This is how we know we truly love: when we don’t just seek the temporary happiness of a person, but their true, lasting joy both now and in the future. Kahit na masakit, mahirap, o matagal. Kung saan ka liligaya. Where you will eventually, by God’s grace, revel in joy.