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Do everything in love.  –I Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)

The word “love” is often bandied about, but what does it mean? When some children were asked what they thought about love, they had some funny responses.

“If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.”  ~Glen age 7

“I’m not rushing into love – I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.” ~ Regina age 10

“No-one is sure why it happens but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.” ~ Mae age 9

Expressing that all of us can make a positive difference, Mother Teresa of Calcutta stated: “Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.”

Author and Bible teacher Chuck Swindoll explains “love” with this helpful acrostic.

Listening when they speak. In today’s busy, distracting and distracted world, simply putting down your screen and turning full face to listen to someone may be one of the greatest gifts you can give. And that means fully listening, not trying to fill in what you think the person will say next or thinking of your response. Some experts suspect the tsunami of mental illness we see today is due in part to a lack of listeners. Some people have to pay top-dollar for a counselor just to have someone who will be a listening ear for an hour. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).

Overlooking their faults. There are times when true love calls for gentle confrontation and “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). However, there are times to be the bigger person and choose to overlook an offense. “Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs” (Proverbs 19:11 NLT). In what may be a helpful antidote to an epidemic of divorce, an African proverb states: “Before marriage, keep both eyes open. After marriage, close one.”

Valuing them as a person. In a howling rebuke to narcissism, the Bible tells us: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 BSB).

Expressing affection. Some may say, “I love others, but I just don’t show it.” Don’t be like the man in this story. Bursting into tears after dinner, the wife blurted out to her husband, “I don’t think you love me anymore!” Putting down his newspaper, he retorted: “The day we got married 50 years ago, I told you I loved you, and if I ever change my mind, I’ll let you know.” The Bible tells us, if we truly understand love, that should impact how we get along with others. “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude (1 Peter 3:8 NLT).

Love is not just a noun, it’s also a verb, an action word. In a world with so much coldness, division, and anger, how can you show love today?


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