Conntecting the Dots

Loving Others Means More Than Giving Valentine Hearts

Love is in the air. Valentine-themed merchandise fills the stores: candy, chocolate, helium balloons, lingerie, flowers, mugs, cards. You name it—the word on the street is love.

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We see the same word in Ephesians 5:1-2, but here it carries a much deeper meaning. It challenges us to a lifestyle of love, not just a sentimental annual display of retail-based affection. It says, “Follow God’s example in everything you do because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”

How easy it is to express love by spending a few dollars on a card or candy or flowers. But how challenging it is to put love into action, to express it on an ongoing basis to someone who has caused us pain, or to extend it to someone who, by all human standards, seems unlovable for one reason or other. And yet that’s what God tells us to do—to make love our lifestyle based on Christ’s example of sacrificial love for us.

This morning my thoughts have returned often to an individual who has caused me deep pain in the recent past. I have tried—unsuccessfully, it seems—to demonstrate love in action. Part of me wants to wash my hands and walk away, but another part of me says that doing so is the wrong response. And so I pray for God to help me persevere, and to reflect His love through me for this individual even though there’s no guarantee that I’ll see my desired outcome.

Making love my lifestyle in this situation might cost me something more than money, and I might gain nothing in return. But isn’t that what true love is all about? Isn’t that what Christ demonstrated on the cross? He loved us before we ever loved Him, and His love cost for us cost Him dearly.

It’s so easy to love people when they love us in return. Not so much when they scorn us. By God’s enabling, though, we can persevere. We can do what He calls us to do—live a life filled with love for others regardless of how they respond.

Have you experienced a supernatural ability to love someone who treated you badly? If so, how?

#bgbg2 #TrueLove  #devotions

8 Responses to “Loving Others Means More Than Giving Valentine Hearts”

  1. Marge Bennett

    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

    I know that’s a pretty powerful demonstration of Love, and it’s true.

    We are blessed when we can, by the Holy Spirit, forgive others and walk in God’s overcoming, victorious Love. I am thankful that He died for me, and for all mankind.

    I am thankful for those who continue in their journey, in His Love. In this way, our picture of love goes from a Valentine heart to a Cross at Calvary, and then back to the “Heart” of God…for us. Happy Valentine Day to you.

    Reply
    • Grace

      Hi Marge. Thanks for sharing Romans 5:8–it truly is the most powerful demonstration of love imaginable. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too!

      Reply
  2. Marge Bennett

    And we know that God blesses our earthly celebrations when our hearts are right towards him, and His word says that God looks at the heart…..he considers what is in our hearts; He knows us; our thoughts, intentions and motives.

    Reply
  3. Marge Bennett

    Yes, love is more than given valentine hearts. It’s visiting that elderly lady whose husband just passed away; It’s praying for those God has given you; it’s making coffee in the morning when your brain is so fuzzy that you wonder if you missed a day or a week, or if you can get your focus right. It’s sitting patiently with a child who needs to tell you everything on his/her heart or when they’re memorizing scripture. Love is becomes an Action (Acts); it’s clipping the toenails of one who cannot, and making a special meal for someone, even if you don’t want any of that. It’s walking beside that person who needs you now, and it’s changing the bedding when you’d rather just drop into bed and fade into a nice deep sleep.
    It’s going across the world to speak to women who desparately need another woman to help them and inform them of the things of God. Like I heard recently, God never promised it would be easy, but it is much better than living for ourselves. Love is living for Him, and that means giving to others. Don’t worry, God also promised to look after us/you. And he cannot lie, and he has never failed us. Love is: God is Love.

    Reply
  4. Marge Bennett

    Because V-Day is on a Sunday this year, we will attend church and fellowship with the people……….at home we’ll have a little cake I baked, and a few “goodies” from the store…………and we’ll talk together and go for a walk, until evening when we will give thanks to the Lord for this day, and for his blessings. Because my Mom always did this, we usually have a drink of cranberry juice mixed with Ginger Ale.

    Reply
    • Grace

      Sounds like a day filled with sweet celebrations (sweet — in more ways that one!). I especially like the tradition of drinking cranberry juice with Ginger Ale. Great idea!

      Reply

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