"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NKJV)
Today we are celebrating Valentine's Day here. It is a time for expressing our love to family and friends. Many will exchange cards of affection, candy and flowers hoping to relate a message of love to the recipient. It is nice to receive a card that says you are loved, candy, flowers or some other token. But these aren't real love, they are only material expressions. They can be given with no genuine love behind them. As a matter of fact, some are given out of duty or pressure because the holiday dictates that you do it.
Just because a gift of love is given doesn't mean that love exist. Love is not a gift, it is not a feeling, it is not some show of affection. Love is a person. "God is love". We can't truly love as we should without the person of love (Jesus) in our hearts and lives. It is then that we experience real love and can give real love to someone else.
Real love is not a material item that you give as a gift, real love is demonstrated in your treatment of that person. You can say, "I love you", all day long; you can buy the biggest box of candy in the store; you can buy dozens of roses; you can buy the most expensive ring they make, but that is not the real proof of love. The greatest expression of love is that you are willing to lay down your life for that person. Yes, it means literally if the situation comes to that, but I am mostly talking about laying down your life by putting yourself last and the person you say you love first- above your own self and desires. Real loves treats that person with kindness, not rudeness. Real love isn't abusive, proud, overbearing, dominating or cruel. Real love doesn't cheat, it doesn't take advantage, it doesn't hurt, it doesn't do evil against them.
The material expressions that we have named are only temporary- cards get lost, flowers fade, candy is soon eaten, jewelry can be stolen- but real love lasts day in and day out regardless of the tests it is put through. Real love is evident and expressed in word and action even when it is not pressured by a holiday to acknowledge it.
Have a great day. Real love is not some material item you give to another person. Real love is demonstrated by the way you treat that person.
For further reading:
1 Corinthians 13
1 John 4:7,8
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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