Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 NIV
Just before Valentine’s Day, Pastor David preached a timely message that challenged us to love deeply. Love covers over sins, and allows us to leave behind the attitude of keeping score. I felt convicted, as I’m sure most of us did. How often does the love I show to others go beyond the surface? It led me to think that in order to show love in a deep, abiding and fault covering way, I need to add value to the way that I show my love.
With Valentine’s Day behind us, many of us have been putting more of our thoughts and our time towards nurturing our relationships. The emphasis can easily become about the money we spend, and the value of what we give. Perhaps we’ve given candies, bought flowers, or written heartfelt messages on cards decorated with hearts. All of these things are fine in themselves, but most would agree that the meaning of these gifts comes not from the items themselves, but from the time spent choosing them specifically with those we love in mind. We add value, and love more deeply when we demonstrate that our loved ones are worth a generous investment of the most finite resource we have. As cliche as it sounds, love truly is spelled T-I-M-E. If we want to show love or strengthen a relationship, the best way to do this is with our time.
“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
Psalms 39:5 NLT
The Bible reminds us that our lives are so brief, “but a breath.” Truly giving our focused time to our spouses, children, and friends is of immeasurable value. In light of eternity, our time is the most valuable thing we have to give. What could be worth more to others than using it to deeply love and connect with them?
If we acknowledge that deep love can’t be communicated without giving generously of our time, then it can bring a slightly new meaning to the familiar verse:
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
1 Corinthians 13:1 NLT
Seen through this lens, if we don’t give of our time, we could tell our families we love them in every language, or buy any multitude of gifts, but it would just be noise, just things, without us showing they are worth more than all of the demands and distractions that life throws our way.
The idea of loving in this deep, focused and unselfish way can be a daunting one. Who can possibly measure up? Of course, the answer is Jesus. 1 John 4:19 reminds us: We love because He first loved us (NIV). As we keep our eyes on Him, He will perfect us in love, helping us to use our short time on this earth to love with a depth that can only be found in Him.
This week, let’s focus on spending the precious time we’re given on the things that matter most. Let’s seek God with renewed intensity, allowing him to perfect us in love. Let’s be mindful of how precious our time is. And let’s never forget that Jesus loved all of us enough to give His life for us. What better way to say, “I love you”, than to do the same.