I write this blog on Valentine ’s Day. I am a hopeless romantic and I overwhelm my wife with cards, candy, notes, flowers and dinner, but I can’t help but wonder if what I do is just a moment in time and does not reflect what I feel and believe. I wonder if what God calls us to is not much more.
What I do on Valentine ’s Day (and 5 days before) is giving out love. Jesus did the most significant and most awe inspiring gift of love that the world has ever seen. A selfless act of love. Now was this just a moment in time? Just a day? If you look at His life, this love was actually given out daily. In fact, after His death He gave us His Spirit to rest in us at every moment to help us, comfort us, and demonstrate Jesus love for us…every moment of every day.
There is an old saying that goes, “you are born of that which you give out.” If you give out criticism habitually, you will become a critical person in your essence. You might say that your output is your instay or better said, what you do and say is what you are. If you give out love all the time, you will be so very lovable all the time. We were all born sinful and sin is not something that you have to teach a child. It is inherent in us. So the idea of being loving and thus lovable is learned. What gets in the way?
I believe we are in bondage to so many things that become obstacles to us being lovable and loving. If we want to be free to love, we must address and attack these obstacles. We must be weaned of them. Like a weaned child, weaned from all that complicates and all that is out of harmony with love. What are these obstacles or what are the necessities that plague us:
- To be Entertained
We don’t need to be entertained. (Be careful. If you need family around a lot, you are in need of entertainment…seems innocent, but it isn’t.) You don’t need to be entertained at all. You are the entertainment. When there is nothing in this world to entertain you, you can do what the Scripture says, “Drink water..from your own well” (Proverbs 5:15). When our well is dry we go outside of ourselves to be entertained. If we are primed from within, we can take that love and give it and give it and give it. Do not despise entertainment, just do not depend on it.
Are you a person that strives hard to be successful? Do you push hard to be right and to be excellent in your craft? Not a bad thing, unless it becomes your necessity. God emancipates you from the bondage of success. Remember that the most successful man that ever lived, writes E. Stanley Jones, failed, by all the standards of success. He left no money, no book, and no property. All He left when he went away were some seeds sown in the hearts of his doubtful followers. You don’t have to succeed. Sow the seeds of love and truth, eat and sleep, and the earth will bring forth fruit of itself.
I think it natural to be sensitive to insult, but does that sensitivity get in the way of love? Jones writes about an officer in the Confederacy of Virginia: he was challenged to a duel. He put an advertisement in a paper, “I have a greater responsibility than to defend my honor. I am a Christian. And to duel is unchristian.” This one act wiped out dueling in Virginia overnight. Simple courage. Simple love.
Years ago, my PR representative, placed me in the Social Register. It did not take long for me to feel uncomfortable and to know that position is not what I wanted to pursue. Even if this “position” would have brought me some big accounts, I could not sacrifice my common touch for prestige. Thankfully God was working in my life to make me uncomfortable with it all.
Another story demonstrates my point. Alexander McLaren, a Scottish minister, preached a whole series of sermons to win one skeptic of powerful intellect to Christ. At last, the man joined the church and admitted humbly his commitment to Jesus. McLaren was delighted and he asked which sermon had helped him make that decision. He replied, “None of them, I helped an old woman down the steps and she turned to me and said, ‘Oh, thank you’ and added, ‘Do you love Jesus Christ, my blessed Saviour’ He means everything to me.’ I did not love him then, but her face and her simple words arrested me, and I found I was on the wrong road. So I’ve turned.”
On this Valentine ’s Day, are you ready to wean your heart so that you can love all the time and thus be lovable all the time: Now you can say:
“I have soothed and stilled my soul…My soul is like a weaned child”
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