February, the month of love. The shortest month of the year gets mixed reviews from most. Some love all of the romance and the opportunity to express affection, while many simply view February 14th as a holiday made up by Hallmark to give us another reason to buy greeting cards and chocolate hearts. Whether or not you are a fan of Valentine’s Day, it causes us to pause and consider the topic of love and what it means in our lives.
As Christ followers, this is a foundational issue in our spiritual and emotional lives. When Jesus was here on earth He spoke many, many times to His disciples about love. He commanded them and us to love God and love others. He also told us and showed us how much He loves us. Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day seems like such a watered down version of love of this magnitude. So how do we even begin to convey to others the depth of this Christ-like love on a commercial holiday like Valentine’s Day? The challenge is truly a daily one, rather than a once-a-year tribute to love. Christ came as the ultimate gift to us. Can we be a gift to others in the mundane day-in and day-out regularity of our lives?
Valentine’s Day is a beautiful reminder that WE are Christ’s message of love to the people in our daily lives. It is up to us to be and show the love God expressed to us through the cross. We have so many small and large opportunities throughout our day to “show up” and be the gift to others. What would your day look like if you intentionally watched for opportunities to be the gift? If you challenged yourself to step outside of your comfort zone to tangibly show kindness and love to the people that cross your path? It might mean extending grace to your spouse when they forget that thing you asked them to do…again. Or paying for the car behind you in line when you buy your coffee on the way to work. Or asking your coworker about her cat, even though you really, really don’t actually want to know, but it certainly seems to make her day. Or making cupcakes for the security guard at work and leaving them with an anonymous thank you note.
February could easily become your favorite month of the year as you find ways to express love and be the gift. The incredible truth is that when you bless others in big and small ways the reciprocal effect is amazing. You get blessed back more than you imagined! And why limit the joy you find from blessing others by only doing it on February 14th? Use all 28 days to find ways to be the gift! Share your experience with others and challenge them to do the same!
Want a unique and unifying challenge to do with your family or small group? Find one way each day in February to be the gift to someone in your life! We can truly spread the love of Christ and put His love into action!
What will you do this week to be the gift?