“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” – 1 John 4:7-12.
We often think of Valentine’s Day as the day for couples to show their love to one another. And we show that love in a variety of ways but the question is what is the most desired gift? It’s not diamonds. It’s not chocolate. It’s not flowers. The most desired gift of love and the most priceless gift of love is focused attention. It is time. Giving your attention is the greatest gift you can give somebody. Why? Because your time is your most precious resource and there is no better way to demonstrate love to someone than by giving of your time.
Nothing can compensate for time. No amount of gifts. No amount of money. No amount of clothes. No amount of roses or chocolates. That’s why when you give something to people, the most valuable, precious thing you can give them is your time and attention. Because giving your time and attention says that the person is valuable and is worth listening to. It’s all about stopping being a spectator and becoming one who participates.
We all have different levels of energy. We have different degrees of wealth. We all have different amounts of talent and personality. But we all have the exact same amount of time. The difference is how we choose to use that time. And sometimes giving up that time will require a sacrifice. If it isn’t a sacrifice it’s not real love. You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving. It means giving up my agenda for your agenda. It means I give up my time for your time. It means I give up my preference for your preference. It means I give up what I’d rather do right now to do what you would rather do right now. Love is an action. Love means taking time.
On this Valentine’s Day and every other day, when you get up in the morning, pray that you will accept others just as you’ve accepted me. Help me to love others unconditionally, just as you have loved me. Help me to forgive others totally, just as you’ve forgiven me. And help me to value others as much as you value me. Help me set aside time to spend with you and invest time in love with others.
If I don’t get anything else done today I’m going to love you a little bit more and know you a little bit better and I’m going to love the people you’ve put in my life. Because that’s what you put me on earth to do.
- What is stopping you from loving today?
- What can we do this week to love when God gives us the opportunity?