Happy Valentine’s Day! A day just to celebrate love! And, oh my, do we! Hearts and flowers everywhere! Balloons, stuffed animals, cards, candy, itty bitty Valentines for your classmates, t-shirts, pajamas….and more….ummm….colorful gifts for that romantic love in your life. I heard on the radio this morning that Valentine’s Day is second only to Christmas in gift-giving sales. And, I’m just as guilty as the next person. Yes, my children woke up to small gifts they had asked for. And my honey will get a mushy gift later in the day (he likes mushy, so it’s okay). My mom got some tulips. My best friend got a card. I baked cupcakes and shared them. So, yeah….I’m guilty. But….wait for it….this is not what it’s about. When God tells us to love one another, He doesn’t mean just on one day of the year that was mandated by somebody we don’t know because some saint we’ve never really heard of died for his love of Christ. Lots of folks have died for that cause. They’re called martyrs. Look it up. Although I have fun with the day, I think it’s important to realize that love isn’t buying gifts for just the people we like the best. So…what is love?
Oh boy, here we go again….Love is patient, love is kind…. What, you thought that somehow I had miraculously come up with a new definition of love? Nope, sorry. The Bible spells it out plainly, so any definition I could come up with would only muddy the waters. I really like the GOD’S Word version: Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Hmmm. That little set of scriptures never fails to stop me in my tracks and make me question if I am really loving God’s way.
No, I can’t improve on God’s definition of love. But, I’d like to share some examples of what I consider to be true, pure love. Love is being thoughtful of another person. A card if they seem down. Flowers if you know they like them. A text to let them know you’re thinking about them. Love is putting yourself aside. Making an extra dish of food. Splitting an unexpected windfall with someone who needs it. Running errands. And, sometimes, love is simply obedience to the One Who is love.
Yep, that dreaded word….obedience. If a thought pops in your head that you should do something for someone, just Who do you think put it there? We are selfish, silly sheep. We aren’t hard-wired to think of others. So, God will drop a thought in. That random hey-I-think-I’ll-do-this-even-though-I-have-no-clue-why feeling. What I want to say to you is that you should obey that. You may think it’s crazy, but if God planted it, He has a purpose for it. Put aside human logic. Put aside your feelings. Put aside your own thought process. Just obey. And, obviously, I’m talking to believers here. If you’re wondering “what if it wasn’t Him?” Ask Him. His sheep know His voice. If He tells you to do something, He’ll present an opportunity and the means.
Oh…and another thing….love doesn’t always feel good. It can get pretty uncomfortable putting yourself out in new ways to show another that they are loved. Sometimes it just plain hurts. But, I’m guessing that Christ’s love was hurting Him pretty bad on the cross, huh? You can’t act according to your feelings, they will deceive you. You have to act according to God’s Word….which pretty much says love other people more than yourself, no matter what. C.S. Lewis put it this way “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
Don’t know who to love? Look around. Find the person who seems the most unlovable. Start with them because they need it the most. Then, simply love everyone in your path. Love can be a smile, a cupcake, a card, a hug. You’ll know. And you’ll be glad you did.
Now….Be blessed and tell someone you love them and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!