SummaryIs Valentine’s Day just about flowers, chocolate, and shiny baubles? Rosa Younan shares some simple tips on how to show Christ-like love in a selfish world.
Valentine’s Day is here. Every spouse has checked the flower shops, ordered that box of candy, or successfully hidden the love letter away until today. Truly it is a great day for couples.
However, somewhere along the way I believe the lines have been blurred, as to what this day is really about.
Is this day filled with romance and love just another day for stores to make money? Or is there something more? Beyond the chocolates, flowers, and cards, a question is posed…
What is love?
Is it just a word or an action? Our hearts may be shouting the obvious, but that doesn’t mean we’re putting it into practice. Perhaps when we understand what true love is, we can better understand how to put it in our life.
The Bible has a lot to say about this. After all, love is a virtue.
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul states that out of Faith, Hope, and Love, the greatest is Love. Why is that? I often wondered why God would find love more important than wisdom or religion.
Well, let’s take a look.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, it says, “Love is patient; Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts. Always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails!”
Wow! So now we know what love does and does not do. Let me sink a little deeper in this though. God’s love is so different from human love. We may not even be able to understand it. His profound love is the very reason for our existence.
We know from the Gospels that God loved the world so much that He gave us His only Son, Jesus. This gift was our everlasting life! I don’t know about you, but I think everlasting life is far superior to chocolates.
By contemplating upon God’s gift of His Son, I was astonished that despite our knowledge of this, we Christians still struggle with our own attitudes.
I included myself in this category. People can just be so cruel and bitter toward one another. We struggle to wait for the simplest thing and even harbor some hate in our heart, yet we celebrate a day for love?
Despite all the injustice and hatred in the world, if we hold fast to God’s love, we can change our own and others’ thoughts about life. So how can we begin this new lovable lifestyle? Here are a few short tips:
1. Start Simple
We can all take little steps to start to practice this virtue. Simple things like offering a neighbor some help with the yard, visiting the elderly, praying for others and not holding grudges against them are just a few.
Maybe you have a friend who you know is going through a tough time. Call them up to let them know you are praying and rooting for them. It sometimes takes only a few minutes to show love.
Can we go a step further? Write a note for your spouse (even if you’re upset with him), bake the kids something special to let them know how great they are, maybe apologize to the friend with whom you argued next time you see her at church.
There is nothing wrong with buying things for the people we love, but pure love knows no bounds. That includes the in-laws you don’t get along with! So while you’re buying something nice for your husband or wife, don’t forget the other people around you who may desperately need Christian love today.
2. Pray for Love
We can only achieve the love that we crave by asking the Father of Love for it. Pray daily to God and ask Him to help you be more conscious of this virtue. Ask Him to put people in your life that would benefit from this love.
Refer back to the Gospels and study how Christ showed love to his enemies.
By imitating Jesus’ actions, we can become more lovable beings.
3. Be the Change
Nobody likes the words of hypocrites. If you make a solid effort to change your attitude, then make sure you’re walking the walk. In other words, instead of complaining about all the problems in the world, be the change that you would like to see.
If nobody at work has a nice thing to say, then you be the first. This may inspire others to change their attitudes, and even if it doesn’t, God will see your actions.
Now we’re getting there! This is the Christian love Jesus died to give us. I don’t want to be the one to say He died in vain. If we could all learn these simple steps and practice them each day, wouldn’t our world be so much brighter?
Who knows? A little love goes a long way.
Could it be perhaps that more people don’t turn to the Faith because they don’t see any examples from Christians? If so, we could be their light in a dark life. We could be the ones to turn their life around and introduce them to a loving Father, who is waiting for them with open arms.
Remember, Christianity is not a name that you pin on your sweater and call yourself saved. It is a day-to-day renewing of your mind, to become more Christ-like.
Go spread some love!
What are some ways that you can think of to spread Christ-like love to others?
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another…” John 13:34-35