Love like God
A woman arrives home, screeching her car into the driveway, runs into the house, slams the door, and yells at the top of her lungs, “Honey?! Pack your bags! I won the lottery!” In shock the husband replies, “No kidding? What should I pack, beach stuff or mountain stuff?” “Doesn’t matter,” she says. “Just get out!!”
Ah, yes, love is in the air, and guys, if you forget Valentine’s Day this too could be your legacy. I’d like to meet the dude that started all this “sweetheart” stuff. It takes me all year to plan and get through her birthday, our anniversary, Christmas, New Year’s, and the Super Bowl, all happening in less than three months, then it is Valentine’s Day. That’s too soon. I think we need to move it to May or June when the weather is better and we could go out for a romantic evening at the racetrack, or the drag strip or something. Be my Valentine?
Seems there was a stressed-out woman who was tailgating the vehicle in front of her as they drove on a busy boulevard. When he slowed to stop at a yellow light, the woman hit the horn, cussing and screaming in frustration, and gesturing angrily. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a police officer who ordered her to exit the car with her hands up. He took her to the police station and put her in a holding cell. An hour later the police officer returned and said, “I’m so sorry, ma’am. This has been a big mistake on my part. When I pulled up behind you, I noticed your ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ license plate holder and your ‘Follow Me to Sunday School’ bumper sticker, and with what I was witnessing going on in the driver’s seat, I assumed the car you were driving was stolen.”
[1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 John 4:7-21] Don’t take me too seriously as a chauvinistic pig, more just a lackadaisical romantic. I, in my walk with Christ, am striving to become like Him, so if I imitate Him I will gain the attributes of God in my life. Because God loves me, He is slow to lose patience with me. He takes the circumstances of my life and uses them in a constructive way for my growth. Can we not do this with one another in love? Because God loves me, He is for me. He does not send down His wrath on every little mistake I make, of which there are many. Can we not do this with one another? Because God loves me, He does not keep score of all my sins and then beat me over the head with them whenever He gets the chance. Because God loves me, He never says there is no hope for me. Rather, He patiently works with me, and disciplines me in such a way that it is hard for me to understand the depth of His concern for me. Because God loves me, He stands with me when I reach the rock-bottom of despair, when I see the real me and compare that with His righteousness, holiness, beauty, and love. Is my love and concern for others strong enough to stand with them in their darkest days? Because God loves me, He is deeply grieved when I do not walk in the ways that please Him. He sees this as evidence that I do not trust Him and love Him as I should. “... God is love” (1 John 4:16). “We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:19-21).
Valentine’s Day is centered on a hopeful attraction of intimate love, while the best of love awaits just off stage, God’s matchless love for all.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at email@example.com. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.