Love. Such a small word with such great meaning. Do we ever actually stop to think about what it really, truly means? I think we oftentimes use the word too loosely, don't we? "I love these shoes!" "I love your purse!" " I love the summer time!" But, do we? Really? Love? A couple of weeks ago, my students and I were discussing this very concept. The concept of God being Love. God IS Love. All that God is, is the very description of love. I printed out I Corinthians 13: 4-7 for them and I blanked out the word "love." As such:
_________ is patient, __________ is kind. _________ does not envy, _________ does not boast, _________ is not proud. _________ does not dishonor others, _________ is not self-seeking, _________ is not easily angered, _________ keeps no record of wrongs. _________ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. _________ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I then asked them to take their name and place it in the blanks. Are they love? Are they exhibiting loving characteristics. For, if we do not have something, we cannot possibly give it away. Thus, one must come to know and understand what love is, before one can practice the act of loving.
I assured them that not everyone is going to be all these things, all the time. That's not the point. The point is, are we actually behaving in loving ways? If not, are we convicted by our behavior and do we try to better it? If we are, then we are capable of loving another. For only then, can we truly have compassion for them when they fail us, disappoint us, hurt us. But, more importantly, we can have appreciation for them when they truly love us.
Love. A small word with great meaning. A word that is the only reason we stand alive on this earth. For this is what we've come to learn, to comprehend, to model. We've come to get to know God. We've come to get to know LOVE.
Happy Valentine's Day. I hope it's an epic one for ya.