Yesterday was February 14th. Ah, Valentine’s Day!
Day for the lovers…
Firstly… I hope everyone had an amazing day!
Not in a bid to make anyone feel bad for their highlight reel on social media, but, for some, this is a day that can raise a lot of painful issues about their circumstances.
Single parents post about love for their children. Christians, their love for Jesus. Pet lovers, love for their pets. Couples profess their love via social media to someone sitting in the same room. (It’s ok! I’ve also used social media to communicate to someone in the same room, no judgement here)
It must be pretty tough if you’ve recently lost your spouse or just recently separated and are still grieving to go on FB or Instagram and read others’ posts about how much they are loved.
I’ll be honest, in the past, this day has left me feeling a little bitter. (Not even a little, probably on the verge of campaigning to have it boycotted!) For me, it seemed to highlight everything I believed then I was missing in life or, more to the point, everything I believed I was not worthy of.
Friends would comfort me and say but look at your lovely boys and Jesus loves you (all true) and blah blah blah! ( yeah! When was the last time my boys took me out on a date to dinner or the cinema!)
Yesterday morning I was about to take to social media and blab about how amazing my boys were and how blessed I am to have them, which is all true…. promise! (angelic miniature replicas of their mother)
Then I got the old nudge! (more like this like a Holy Spirit boot to the shin). What if today wasn’t about how much the world proved I was loved, but a day I could prove how much I could love others? Or even better show the world how much Jesus loved.
I felt God Challenge me not to allow this day to be defined by what I got, rather by what I could give.
I don’t mean the three flowers in cheap cellophane the garage are selling for £15.
Love can be shown in lots of different ways.
I want to encourage you to love others this week?
So often we get confused on the idea of what love looks like. I think it is a common misbelief that, in order to love someone, you have to agree with their behaviour or approve of their lifestyle. We have to agree with their way of thinking and, in turn, this causes us to withhold love. I don’t think we have to agree with or approve of someone or their lifestyle to be able to love them. If you are choosing to do this today, can I encourage you to stop? Love should not be conditional, it shouldn’t be a reward for agreement and it shouldn’t be used as some kind of bait to get people round to your way of thinking.
This week can we try and love out… to people regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what you may class as their poor life choices, regardless of any preconditions. You don’t need to come into agreement to love, just love whatever way you can.
- Buy the coffee for the person in front of you rooting in their pocket for change.
- Carry that lady’s shopping to the car.
- Stop in traffic and let that big flashy Range Rover out that you normally wouldn’t (because, well it’s just rude to have a car that big).
- Cook an extra cottage pie at dinner and leave it into your elderly neighbours.
- If you can afford it whack £20 in an envelope with a takeaway menu and post it through a single mum’s or single dad’s door so she or he don’t have to cook some night.
- Hold the door and let someone through in front of you.
- Pick up the phone and talk to that friend who you haven’t spoken to in months but has been on your mind.
- Say sorry where you are wrong, even when it’s hard.
- Tell your friend what good qualities you see in her.
- Pray for the ones you struggle with.
- Smile at that kid acting up rather than judging their parents method of disipline
If you can’t do anything else, just pray! Just pray for those people for whom this time is just that little bit tougher.
Lift people up! Shine brightly!
You can’t always change people’s minds, but you can be a bright light to something better.
Love people. Today be the person you need the most to others.
p.s Jesus does love you!
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV
love T x