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Valentine’s Day means love

By Myrtle Virginia Thompson

Like so many of our holidays, Valentine’s Day did not start with love as we see in the ads today. It started wrong but somehow was made right, and today we celebrate it as a time to show our love. We can thank Hallmark for having the first cards to remind us, and our American ingenuity for the rest.

The words love and holy fit together. That’s a simple thought, but there is more. When we love, we mirror God, for the Scripture says “God is love.” Love is more than a word, it is an action. It comes to us when we sip the nectar from the flower of holiness. It is not a wild emotion. It is strengthening, calming, helping our ability to “keep on keeping on.” Anger and bitterness cannot achieve any of that.

In Matthew 5-7, Jesus tells us to love our enemies, do good to them who hate and despitefully use us, not deprive them of kind words and actions. Love forgives, and Jesus said if we do not forgive others, He will not forgive us. If we have bitterness and anger, a determination to “get even,” we are not exercising love.

Love shows respect. Love doesn’t do evil things just to get our way and prove we are better or know more than someone else. Love has to be grasped and held onto when we would rather fight back. We all know those feelings. We have all “been there, done that.” We have found it did not help the situation. It sometimes led to a worse condition.

1 Corinthians 13 says no matter how powerful we are, how eloquently we may speak, how “prophetic” we may sound, no matter how much money we give to causes we think are right and finally, even if we give our bodies to be destroyed, “burned” for those causes — if we have not love, it will all be unprofitable in the end. Presumably, Paul means when we stand before God we will have to give an account of how we have lived. God will be the final judge of both our words and our actions. Until that time, unless we have acted in love, the sounds we make and the actions we take are nothing more than the noise of a clashing cymbal. They won’t change anything.

If none of those things can help our condition, what will? Paul reiterates what Jesus said about God. It is love, but what is love and how can we get it? I can’t define love but I know it when I see it. I know it is an emotion that comes from hearts that are clean and pure, holy. Love can put us into a right relationship with God. It can bring repentance, tears, release from fears, anger and hatred.

Take time, get a Bible, read 1 Corinthians 13. Then take more time to respond to what it tells us to do and what God has already done for us in showing His love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, every day!

Myrtle Virginia Thompson, 92, is a retired educator, Bible teacher, missionary and writer. Contact her at mvtgrt@gmail.com.