St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. We are being bombarded by advertisers and retailers who want us to buy flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and all kinds of other things to express our love and devotion to that special someone in our lives. Shannon Bryant of MarketingForecast.com predicts we will spend almost $15.7 billion or an average of $116.21 per person.
Love always gives. It is natural and even Biblical to want to give to those whom you love. Our greatest example of giving is God Himself (John 3:16). Love is at the center of the Gospel and it is to be the center of our lives as well.
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
God is love, and anyone who doesn’t love others has never known him. (1 John 4:8)
As we celebrate our love for the special person in our life I wanted to remind each of us of the things that love does and does not do:
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up. Love never comes to an end. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
Let’s apply this to our St. Valentine’s Day shopping and gift giving.
- Gifts are not required in order to prove love; gifts are given because love exists
- Love gives without anticipation of receiving in return
- Love does not give to make a statement to your special someone’s friends, co-workers and family members
- Love does not give in order to prove a point
- Sometimes the gift of love is not received well, in fact, sometimes it is rejected
Don’t give from an obligation; give because your heart wants to. Don’t give for any other reason than because you want to bless the person you love. Give with your heart wide open.
May the love you have be clearly communicated and may the person you love feel truly loved by both God and you this St. Valentine’s Day.