Okay, I know I’m dating myself when I title a devo after an old 70’s song…But I can’t think of anything this world needs more of right now… In the middle of earth’s judgmental mania games, we often forget to just stop, accept others and realize we all have faults.
I was talking to my mother about this the other day… and she and I both came to the conclusion that time is short and it is most important to spend our time loving others, not judging them.
As Valentines Day approaches, we often find ourselves shopping for that significant other for a special gift to express our love and devotion. When it comes to expressing to others outside that realm we often fall way short. By the way, buying gifts isn’t the only way we can show love towards others. Often a gift will give us a temporal feeling of acceptance and love. But when someone gives us time, or takes time to just say “I love you” that often means more to me than a gift. My husband is very good at telling me daily that he loves me. A day has not gone by that he has not expressed this genuinely to me. I’m not saying I don’t like gifts, but when I think of all the gifts he has given me, compared to his genuine expression of love given me in time, there is no comparison.
What good would it be had he repeatedly given me gift after gift but never had any time to spend with me - nevertheless, tell me how important I am to him? When it comes to other relationships we can understand the benefit of giving of ourselves in time. When we take a moment out of our busy schedules to just send a card, or make a call to someone who needs a touch that day… we have learned the meaning of love. We have learned that it not only benefits the other person, but actually ourselves. By expressing love to others we become more Christ like because He is love. Allowing the channels of the Holy Spirit to move freely in us, accepting others, and not being critical, helps us to guard our hearts from un-needed anguish.
Let me remind you just because we accept someone else, doesn’t mean we always agree with them. We need to accept people on their level. Jesus was a great example of this. However, if the situation we are in is unacceptable, that is a different thing. We can change situations, most of the time, but we are not in the people changing business. That is God’s department.
When was the last time you genuinely showed love to a stranger? The world’s tainted view of love and God’s definition is two different things. We are commanded to love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Not just the person next door or across the street. That would be too easy. Our neighbor is anyone we come in contact with. The Road to Jericho is a great example of what is expected of a neighbor. We read in the book of Luke about a man that was robbed, beaten and left for dead. Several people just passed him by on the Road to Jericho. However, one man picked him up, took him to an hotel and paid all his medical bills to be taken care of until he recovered fully.
As Jesus was explaining to one of his disciples, he continued on saying…
"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same." Luke 10: 36-37
There used to be an old saying I enjoyed about the red lettering in the bible. You see, when you read the words in red, they are the words that Jesus Himself spoke. I like to agree with the saying that says, “Read the red and pray for power!
Red is also significantly the color of love, Valentines Day, etc… In the coming week and through the year may it remind us that red is also the color of the ultimate sacrifice of love that was given to us. May we learn to love others as unconditionally as God loves us.