4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails…..13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8;13
Ahhhhhhhh…..Valentines Day. Doesn’t it bring out all the feels?!! A holiday traditionally filled with red and pink, highlighted with glitter and covered in chocolate!
Everywhere you look, LOVE is in the air! This is the day to give something special to the people we love so they gain a glimpse of the devotion we have for them. There are 365 days in the year to proclaim this love, but this is THE ONE DAY that really counts in our mind—the day we take our admiration for those we cherish to the next level.
Many take their Valentine to dinner; or maybe bring home flowers and candy; maybe take a trip overnight to celebrate the occasion. For some, a stunning piece of jewelry could land around their neck or adorn their ring finger. Over the years, I’ve experienced all of these things on Valentine’s Day. However, my personal favorite, is when Gary has taken the time to write down —in his own words—his love and devotion for me. It’s something I can read over and over again whenever I want to reflect on how he feels about me.
As we approach this special day that revolves around love, my heart is drawn to the ultimate of all love letters ever written. God wrote the Bible—and entire book specifically for you and me—so that we would know how deeply He loves us. In fact, He spends a whole chapter in 1 Corinthians to show us exactly what love looks like. These precious words translate into the model of how to love others while we are here on earth. Ironically, love isn’t defined as a material gift in scripture. Instead, it’s the everyday attitude and actions that we choose in regards to our relationships. Take a few minutes to examine these guidelines closely. How are you measuring up on a day to day basis when it comes to loving those around you?
1 Corinthians 13– (MSG Version)
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut.
Love doesn’t have a swelled head.
Love doesn’t force itself on others.
Love isn’t always “me first”.
Love doesn’t fly off the handle.
Love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.
Love doesn’t revel when others grovel.
Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth.
Love trusts God always.
Love always looks for the best.
Love never looks back.
Love keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
There are three things to do until we finally meet Jesus: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. The best of the three is love.
It’s a little sobering when you go through that list! I absolutely know that I fall short at loving Gary this completely…or my kids…let alone extended family and friends…and don’t even start on co-workers etc. But that does not lower God’s standard. The bar doesn’t move because we don’t want to measure up. Instead, God wants our standard of loving to move to match His. He knows that when these relationship guidelines are followed, we give honor and respect a chance to grow. We experience deep abiding love that stands the test of time. And best of all, peace reigns in our homes!
I want to make another extraordinary point here. As God defines for us what love is, He’s actually describing Himself. It’s like when working a word equation in math. Anytime the word “is” is used, it translates to “equals”. 1 John 4:8 states specifically that God is love. That means that we can interchange the words love and God and we’d be speaking of one in the same…they are equal. With that said, I encourage you to go back to those verses and place God’s name where the word love is. You will begin to get a picture of how deeply YOU are loved. You see, He is not asking us to demonstrate love to others any differently than it has already been bestowed upon us. And though it seems like a tall order to rise to that standard of loving, we can know that it is possible. Romans 8:28 reminds us that, ‘we can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us”. The word “all” means nothing excluded.
So this year, definitely plan a surprise for that special someone or those precious kids and grandkids! Everyone loves a sweet reminder of how much you care! But don’t stop there! GIVE THE BEST gift ever this year BY BEING THE BEST gift ever ALL YEAR.
So, go on now! It’s time to get your shine on 🙂