Love: Our Distinction!
Valentine’s Day – the official love holiday. Today millions of flowers, cards, gifts, and special mementos will be exchanged. There are some who despise the day because of the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations. Others refrain from hoping that it will be different this year and someone will celebrate them in a significant way. Our hearts long to be loved like this.
I observed an elderly couple at a local restaurant recently. As they approached the entrance the man left his frail wife behind, unable to manage stepping onto the curb she called to him to help her. Reluctantly he retraced his steps and gave her his hand to assist her to the sidewalk and then turned to walk briskly ahead of her as she pulled her coat tighter around her from the cold. The man reaching the door first flung it open and walked inside without looking behind him. The woman entered behind him, the door banging her in the shoulder. I wondered at this. How many years had they been together? Had it always been this way? Where was the gentleness, the kindness, the care for one another? What were their conversations like? Maybe this is too much thought into one event in a day filled with other things. However I had been thinking about Valentine’s Day and love and I just thought about the stark contrast. Oh, how our hearts long to be loved.
Our hearts long to be loved not just in gifts, Facebook posts, and cards but in tangible daily expression. We long for a lifestyle of love. We want a love that believes in us and is for us. We want a love that believes in our future and doesn’t try to define us by our past. We want a love that will not let go. We want love that looks past our faults and believes in our hearts. In a culture that is primarily self-focused, we want a love that puts other’s first. I believe people, the entire world over, are starving for this kind of love. We really want to be loved like this.
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,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 The Message)
True Biblical love in its full expression is what our hearts long for. More than one day, more than words or gifts we want to experience being loved like this. The Apostle John says that love will be the distinguishing mark of our Christianity. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:35 NKJV
It’s not how learned we are, how powerful or anointed we are. We will be known, we will be distinguished, by our love. Oh, that love would find its expression through our lives in such a tangible way that it would draw the famished to Jesus. We learn our love from His example. Let’s be good students of our Master and love as fully and as sacrificially as He did.