It only seems natural it being Valentine's and all that I should reflect on what real love is. Through the month of February, I've been teaching the kids in Sunday School about what REAL love looks like. What is Biblical love? We are constantly bombarded with the word "love". Examples.... I just LOVE their french fries, I LOVE this lotion, I LOVE that TV show! I was asking the kids is that real LOVE? I had mixed answers so we looked up 1 Corinthians 13 also known as the "LOVE" chapter. We decided to compare these uses of the word "love" to how the Bible describes it.
4; Love is PAITENT, Love is KIND. It DOES NOT ENVY, It DOES NOT BOAST. It is NOT PROUD. 5. it is NOT RUDE, it is NOT SELFSEEKING, it is NOT EASILY ANGERED, it keeps NO RECORD OF WRONGS (martha version--love has a short memory:) 6. Love DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL, but REJOICES IN THE TRUTH. 7. it always PROTECTS, always TRUSTS, always HOPES, always PERSERVERES. 8. love NEVER FAILS
So the consensus of the class was that loving a french fry or a TV show was not love at all. This lead into great discussion about relationships and if a person was not following these principles or you yourself were not following these principles then that relationship was not based on love.
So what then. You don't have to love everyone right?? Well, that lead us to the next verse.... John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
It's amazing that even back when this was written, that what set followers of Jesus apart from heathens was how they acted and loved one another. It truly is supernatural and it definately goes against our nature of making sure we never get our feelings hurt.
So that was my challenge to them and myself as well. The act of LOVING one another (even & especially our enemies) is an act of obedience to Christ's commands. Sometimes it's easy but sometimes it's the last thing we want to do for someone who is prickly, icky & not nice to be around. My challenge to you and myself?? Find one of those prickly people and show them an act of true, Godly love this Valentine's Day. Don't do it because it will make you feel good, frankly they may not be appreciative at all. But, do it out of obedience to the One who loved us first!