Love…it’s a word that can be underused, overused, or misused. With Valentine’s Day just behind us, the world is still hung over from the party that LOVE threw. Pink and red are everywhere, not to mention hearts with “conversations” on them. What does that mean… conversation hearts? Maybe we should keep a bowl of them at the dinner table and draw one out to help start a good conversation… “OMG! So, what does that make you think of?” Okay, I’ll step off my sarcasm wagon and get back to love.
I guess Valentine’s Day has given me fuel to really think about love and to evaluate how I am loving those around me. After all, God’s greatest commandment is for us to love. How is that going for you? Are you loving well? Is it possible to love too much? Is it possible to love for the wrong reasons? Is your love towards others just an overt action that looks on the surface like you really care… an act of sorts? Is it really possible to love everyone? What about those who are just simply unloveable in our minds eye? Do you hear the words I love you each day? Are they overused or underused? Is there meaning behind them when we say them, or are we simply responding out of habit… “Love you, too.”
As I ponder and write about love in my life, I am really left with the question, “Am I loving well?” Am I really listening to the heart of my heavenly Papa and loving each person in my life the way in which He intended me to? That will look different for each person in each situation. There is not a generic formula by which to love those around us. We are called to listen to His heart for instructions on how to love each person we come in contact with.
In the grocery store that might look like letting the harried young mother with a baby and a gallon of milk go ahead of me in the line. That might be just the act of kindness she needed to be able to go home and then love her little baby that is fussy and sick. While driving, love might look like letting the seemingly rude driver cut in front of you when the lane ends and they can’t get in line with the rest of us. That one gesture might be just what changes how they respond to their family when they arrive home after a tough day at the office.
The Golden Rule pops into my head as I’m writing this morning. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Wow, those eleven words nicely sum it up for me. To love well is to love others the way I want to be loved. Love does not have a quantity or quality attached to it. The tiniest gesture, look, word, or touch could be the single act that changes a persons course in their day. While we all like grand gestures of love, don’t forget the small ones that may never be acknowledged, but have a powerful impact… a life-changing impact.
My prayer for all of us today is that we can all love well. What does that look like in your life?