Today is blog post # 9 in my 12 blogs of Christmas.
Today's topic is love, but before I get to that, let me share my christmas card with you. This one uses Taylored Expressions Woodland Forest. I love this set.
Love. Ah love, such a wonderful thing. There is a Christmas song that is on my ipod called ‘when love came down.’ It’s a beautiful melody with inspiring words that describe how Christmas really is love because Jesus came to earth to show us God’s love for us.
But what really is love? Everyone talks about love. Everyone likes love. Everyone wants more love in the world, but when we say love what do we mean?
Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.' Ephesians 5:2
I wonder if we all have the same definition of love that the bible teaches. Many people talk about love as an emotion, as something you feel. Like a married couple – I am in love with him so I will marry him or the opposite; I am no longer in love with him so I will divorce him. Here love is an emotion or I like to say ‘love as a noun.’ The bible teaches that love is a verb. It’s an action, not a state. So, used in a sentence you would say ‘I loved him’ to describe specific actions you did to show love to him.
It may seem like a subtle difference, but believe me, it is not the least bit subtle. What if you ‘verb loved’ someone when you ‘noun loved’ wasn’t feeling it. Do you agree that it would be possible to not feel the emotion of love toward someone but to act loving toward them anyway?
That is one of my objectives this Christmas. I want to ‘noun love’ everyone I am with. There are many who I will see at Christmas that I verb love. Loving them will be a treat. But I plan to take it further and verb love those who I don’t noun love. How will I do it? Well, I’ll start with the practical. First, I’m going to make sure, this Christmas season, I get plenty of regular sleep, healthy food in my body and keep up my routine of exercise. Believe me it’s going to be much easier to verb love these people when I’m at my physical best. Second, I’m going to pray about my encounters with them. I will start my prayers humbly acknowledging that I cannot really love anyone without God’s help. I’ll also prayerfully consider that this person is a child of God. And if God created them, God loved them and therefore I need to verb love them too. Third, I’m going to encourage them and listen to them. How better to verb love someone than that. And along the way I may need to do a bit more forgiving. Is my reason that I don’t noun love them because I am remembering some past hurt? I need to let that go.
How about you? Are there any people you’ll encounter this Christmas that you don’t noun love? Will you verb love them? What’s your strategy?