I am choosing not to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the usual sense this year; let’s face it, I don’t need more chocolate, and cut flowers (while pretty) only last a few days. I know that there are many industries that get a surge in sales this time of year –thanks to savvy marketing. I certainly don’t blame then for taking advantage of the traditions and trying to grow their business, but it can be challenging for the average consumer who gets sucked into the idea that true love can only be expressed with cards, date nights, or expensive gifts. While these things can be delightful for both the recipient and the giver, they do not replace what should be the primary focus of this day and every other– We are here to LOVE and be loved. It’s both that simple and that difficult.
See our culture thinks the grand objective is tolerance– that with tolerance for all, peace will reign. I don’t buy it.
Tolerance says, “I’ll put up with you.” Love says, “I’ll put you first.”
Tolerance says, “I’ll go along with whatever you do or say, even if I think it’s stupid.” Love says, “I won’t compromise my values just to agree with you, but I will always respect your right to your beliefs.”
Tolerance says, “Even if I see you struggle and I know you are causing harm to yourself, I will keep silent. Go ahead and live your life as long as it doesn’t interfere with mine.” Love says, “I will not be afraid to lovingly share truth when you are struggling. Your life matters as much as mine.”
Do you really just want to be tolerated?
God LOVES us– warts and all. The more we can accept His love, the more we can love others, and the more we will have true peace in our lives. That’s the goal. May we shoot for nothing less.
On this Valentine’s Day why not create a new (better) tradition for yourself? Why not focus on LOVE itself, rather than the candy, flowers, or spa certificate? 🙂 Are you available, REALLY available for the people in your world? When was the last time you brought a sick friend dinner, took an extra shift for a co-worker, or mowed a neighbor’s lawn when they were away? Are you fully present and aware when people around you are lonely? hurting? weary? Sometimes a smile, a listening ear, a compassionate shoulder are the best gifts you could ever give.
With love for this day and throughout the year–