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Love is Not Self-Seeking

 

February is the month of Valentine’s Day. It is the month of love. One of my favorite

descriptions of love, from the Bible’s famous love chapter, is this: “Love…is not self-seeking.”

(1 Corinthians 13:5) Love does not always insist on having its own way. Love puts others before

itself. There are times when love gives up its rights in order to find what is best for somebody

else.

“Love…is not self-seeking.” Or, to put it another way, “Love sacrifices.”

During this month of love, let me challenge you to find a way to sacrifice what you would

normally want or do on behalf of someone else. Let me challenge you to pick at least one person

with whom you will set aside your own interests in order to elevate theirs. Show your love to

somebody this week by sacrificing. Here are three sacrificial gifts you can share this month:

 

First, I want to challenge all of us to give the gift of Attention.

My mom likes to say that children spell love T-I-M-E. And I don’t think that applies only to

children. We feel loved when people make time for us. We feel loved when people give us their

undivided attention. And so, at least once this month drop everything to spend time with the

person you are seeking to love. Sacrifice your time. Shut the cell phone off. Get rid of the day

planner. And just focus on that person. If you are interrupted by this person this month—whether

you’re trying to get work done, trying to relax, watching a show, or whatever—treat the

interruption as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience. Sacrifice your time. Give the gift of

attention.

 

Second, I want to challenge all of us to give the gift of Activity.

At least one time this month, volunteer to do something you know the other person loves, even if

it isn’t your favorite thing to do. You can make the sacrifice of sharing in their interests, even if

those interests are not your own. If your loved one enjoys watching basketball, you can volunteer

to watch a game even if you don’t know the difference between a lay-up and a free throw. Or, if

your loved one enjoys taking walks outside, you can go along even if you think the best way to

experience the beauty of winter is through a wall calendar. This might mean having a tea party

with your 4 year-old or playing X-Box with your teen-ager or eating at McDonald’s when you’d

much rather be stopping at Five Guys. Sacrifice your interests. Give the gift of activity.

And, third, I want to challenge all of us to give the gift of Attitude.

 

Instead of always having to be right, or always having to have what we think we deserve, we can

sacrifice the need to get our own way. And so, at least one time this month, find an opportunity

to simply agree, even if you disagree. Even if you think you are being wronged…even if you

think you are being treated unfairly…why not simply let it go? Why not rather be wronged? (1

Corinthians 6:7) Sacrifice your need to be right. Give the gift of attitude.

 

Love Sacrifices. The greatest demonstration of love the world has ever seen was when Jesus

sacrificed Himself for us on the cross. As His followers, what sacrifices can we make to express

our love to those around us?