Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love 'em like Jesus

Dear Friends,

Whenever I think of the most romantic day of the year –Valentine’s Day– I often think of Wanda. No. Not like that. But many decades ago, I dated a woman named Lynn who came into my life along with two pre-teen daughters, a bad-tempered cat and Lynn’s high-maintenance, best friend, Wanda. 

Wanda could have been her own reality show. Her life was filled with drama, pathos and all-too-frequent crises. She had found the man of her dreams at the firm where she worked as a legal secretary. Todd was a very handsome, wealthy attorney who drove a Ferrari and took Wanda to the best Beverly Hills restaurants. And now for months, all she could talk about was Valentine’s Day. That was their one year dating anniversary and Wanda just knew deep within her heart that Todd was going to propose that Valentine night. 

She begin to obsessively read bridal magazines and sent away for travel brochures to plan their honeymoon. Every time they passed a jewelry store, she dropped coy hints by pointing out the rings she liked best. Two weeks before the big day, she and Lynn went shopping to buy Wanda a new dress for her special night with Todd. On Valentine’s Day, Wanda called in sick so that she could get her hair done. She was so nervous she hadn’t eaten or slept well for days. From when she was a little girl, she had fantasied about marrying a handsome, powerful, wealthy man and living happily ever-after. That dream was about to come true! 

Todd took her to an exquisite, romantic restaurant. They came back to her place. Todd helped her out of the car and shyly reached behind the front seat to retrieve a package. Once inside, Wanda begin to tremble with anticipation. At first she was a little confused because it was an awfully large box for an engagement ring but it was wrapped in red paper with embossed gold hearts. Her heart pounding, the words “Yes of course I’ll marry you!” ready to burst from her lips, she eagerly tore off the paper... and burst into tears.

Todd had given her a WATERPIK ® (recommended for the removal of bacteria deep between teeth and below the gumline for improved oral hygiene).

That funny, sad, true story illustrates the problem with romantic love – it always involves two imperfect people who excite each other one moment and exasperate each other the next. We’ve loved and been loved. We’ve watched our love soar to romantic heights and crash back down after colliding with the realities of life. We flawed humans have a great capacity for the humiliation, hurt, insensitivity, anger and betrayal that we have done unto others, as they have done unto us.

While our natural human love for each other is blemished and imperfect, God’s love is righteous, holy and perfect. That’s why Jesus told us that we are to love others as He loves us. Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

The apostles tell us, “You have been taught by God to love one another.”“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three but the greatest of these is love.”“Be affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.”“Be an example in word, conduct, love, spirit, truth, in purity.”“My little children, let us not (just) love in our words, but in our deeds and in truth.”“Above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”

God and His love are with you and in you this Valentine’s Day and every day. Let God's love flow through you to those that He has brought into your life – those who have been given to you and to whom you have been given. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God..”  Forgive others their human imperfections as you pray that they will forgive yours. And, on Valentine’s Day and every day, just love ‘em like Jesus.  Amen?
John 15:12   ➁ 1 Thess 4:9   ➂ 1 Cor 13:13   Rom 12:10   
1 Tim 4:12   ➅ 1 John 3:18   ➆ 1 Pet 4:8       ➇ 1 John 4:7

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