Valentine's Day and Real Love

We are coming up on a holiday we celebrate here in the United States. Valentine's day is the second-highest greeting card holiday, only behind Mother's day. Crazy right? Valentine's day is definitely focused on celebrating the people we love. But do we really know what love really means... Love is a word that has definitely been overly used in our society. "I love tacos" is not the same as telling your wife of 33 years, "I love you." The words I love you are packed full of so much meaning. Valentine's is good for celebrating love, but it's not enough. There are more profound ways to say I love you that are bigger than roses and a box of chocolates.

A definition of love that I love to share whenever I can is, "Love is choosing the greatest good for the other person." Wow, If we look at ourselves, are we really choosing the greatest good for everything and everyone in our life? No question, this definition is difficult to live out every day, but I believe it is what Jesus modeled for us as he lived and died for us. This type of love is what Jesus was talking about in John 10:10,

A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Real Life, the full and robust life, is tied to the people I love in my life. Life is all about relationships, and when I am focused on loving them by choosing the greatest good for them, is then I begin to understand what Christ meant by real Love and REAL Life!

How does this look in real-time? Doing the dishes, taking out the trash, and driving to meet a friend for coffee that lives all the way across town. Whatever you can do, that is not about you... This is about being a servant. Choosing to serve and take a back seat instead of getting your way. The apostle Paul shares this in I Corinthians 13, the love chapter,

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end."

This is the challenge, choose what is best for others in my life because Jesus chose me and what was best for me. Let's love for real - Let's choose to love by choosing the greatest for the people in our lives.

Men's Community meets every Thursday morning at WCC at 6am in the AUX. Men, if you are not already plugged in, please join us!~

Rich Ward
WCC Men's Community