February is the month when the price of flowers go up, the price of dating sites go down and the world places emphasis on finding “love”. Now before you check out, I want to encourage you to think about the true meaning of love that has nothing to do with whether you have a boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse.
It’s the kind of love that we are all called to have for our God….and each other. The kind that transcends feelings of what we want and how to get it.
As I sat in church this morning and thought about the month of February, I was convicted about the word love and more importantly the meaning and actions behind it. So, I am committed to a month of love and I am asking you to join me! Here’s how it works:
Define true love. Loveliness.
Miriam Webster has one definition that states love is an “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for others. And defines lovely as (1): attractive or beautiful especially in a graceful way. (2.): very good or likable.
Consider what God says about love in 1 Corinthians 13(NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
2. Take a love inventory.
When you read these definitions, ask yourself:
How am I demonstrating love?
Are my actions and countenance lovely to all I come in contact with?
Is what you’re thinking lovely?
Is what you’re communicating, speaking love? (in person, on email, on social media?)
How are you demonstrating true love to those around you?
Does your family get your love based on the definitions above? Your co-workers?
What needs to change so you are conformed to God’s definition of love?
3. Make February a month of love.
The world needs more love not hate. The world needs more love and service not selfishness. The world needs more connection not more polarization. So, will you be “lovely” and loving this month? And, studies show that after a month of new behavior it becomes habit. So, may we all create new habits of love to transform the world around us!
If you’re committed, simply comment by saying “I commit”. I’ll take the month of February to pray for those who are joining me in this month of true love.