From time to time I share the writings of my good friend, Brenda Koinis. Today I’m sharing wisdom from Brenda’s mom, Beth. She reminds us of the reason we show this special love for one another – or the greatest Valentine.
Please remember that God sent us the greatest Valentine, Jesus Christ, because he loves us so much. 1 John 4:15-16 (NIV) says, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” Love is his nature. It would be terrible to have to strive constantly to make God love us, trying to do enough to be acceptable to him, to be loved by him. That’s not the case! We can rely on his love for us, even though we don’t deserve it.
Romans 8 promises us that nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from his love. God is love. His love is eternal. And he has asked us to love each other.
We can love in thought: If we dwell on someone’s faults or shortcomings, we’ll have a mighty hard time showing them love. It’s better to believe the best of every person. “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person” (1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP). And since, thankfully, God doesn’t keep a list of our offenses, we aren’t to keep a list either.
We can love in word: After we practice thinking good things about others, it’s time to speak those good things, those words of love and encouragement. “Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body” (Proverbs 16:24 NLT). The old kid’s chant, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is a lie. Most of us remember some sort of terrible thing said to us in childhood that still hurts. God wants us to love with our words.
We can love in deed: Once we’re thinking and speaking love, it’s easier to show our love and the love of God in what we do. “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18 NIV). For each of us the action we take will be different, but here are a few suggestions.
- Forgive someone. (God has forgiven us, and we need to do the same.)
- Show real kindness. (We have the power to be kind to others.)
- Do for others. (Call a friend, do a chore that isn’t yours, or meet a need even if it’s inconvenient.)
- Be generous with your compliments.
We need to be extravagant with our love toward others, because God has been extravagant with his love toward us. Let’s do it! Let’s start today.