Tomorrow the world will be turned upside down in red, pink, and white. Flowers, candy, love notes, and songs will pour out into people’s homes, cars, and workplaces as people try to show their love for that special someone.
But what does it look like to show love to someone?
In a previous post, we explored what it looked like when we show love to God. The Word of God showed us that it required our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. It is in that same conversation that Christ shares the secret of how to love others.
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command.
The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
So how do you show someone you love them?
You love them as you love yourself. However, this is problematic for us for two reasons.
It is hard to love someone when you don’t even love yourself. And you can’t love yourself if you haven’t first received the love of God.
It is hard to love someone when you try to do it in your strength and without God’s direction and wisdom.
First John 4 shares with us what it looks like to overcome these barriers as well as how to love through the love God has given us through His Son.
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One an Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Dear friends if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another. 1 John 4:7-11
John encourages us to accept the love God has given to us and then share it with those around us. If God loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us, then we must be willing to receive His love and accept yourself for how God sees and loves us. Once we have received Christ’s work on the cross for our salvation, then we cannot only live as one loved by God but love others the same way.
First John continues with this truth.
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Our ability to love has to come first from the love we have received from God. Loving any other way apart from the love of God results in a selfish love and one that fades over time (i.e., flowers, chocolates, and cards). Stormie OMartian in her book, The Power of Praying Through Fear shares:
Human love is failing and conditional. God’s love is unfailing and unconditional. Believing that with all your heart requires spending time with Him.
So when we spend time with God and embrace His unfailing love in our lives, we can love others the same. Then we will not be disappointed, because we can know that it is God working in and through us enabling and empowering us to love.
May this Valentine’s Day be different for you as you consider the great love God has demonstrated to you through sending His own Son to live, die, and rise again.
Receive God’s love today and in turn share it with those around you. The greatest act of showing someone you love them is by loving them as you love yourself.
Take some time today to ponder the love God has shown you through sending His Son.
How will you love someone today?