Love is a gift we give to others. As with all gifts given out of love, the gift often blesses the giver as much or more than the receiver of the gift. Our God is a God of love and gives to us each day because of the great love God has for each of us. Jesus taught that since God’s love is at the core of all God’s actions, then it should also be at the core of our actions. He taught that the Great Commandment is to “love the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself.”
The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church taught that love must be at the core of everything that we do as Christians. In I Corinthians 13 he says that you can speak in tongues but if you aren’t doing so with love then you are just a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. You can be a prophet and understand all things and have all knowledge and have faith that can remove mountains, but if you are not loving, it all means nothing. He goes on to say that you can give away all your possessions and sacrifice your body, but if you are not doing so out of love, it means nothing. He sums up by saying: “Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease, as for knowledge, it will come to an end.
We know that if we receive something given grudgingly and not lovingly that we feel disappointment and not joy. We know that if we give our children gifts and they don’t feel the love we have for them behind the gifts, and often the sacrifice behind those gifts, the gifts mean little to them. The same is true for other family members and especially our spouses and significant others in our lives. Gifts are only seen as gifts if they come from a loving heart.
True—we can be hurt by loving others. Sometimes they take advantage of us. Sometimes they reject our love. Sometimes they do not reciprocate. Loving makes us vulnerable—but not loving makes us miserable.
Recently I came across this poem written by Harold Sandall in 1912. It expresses what I’ve tried to say above much better than my prose is able to do. I’d like to share it with you:
Love that is hoarded, molds at last
Until we know some day
The only thing we ever have
Is what we give away
And kindness that is never used
But hidden all alone
Will slowly harden till it is
As hard as any stone.
It is what we always hold
That we will lose someday;
The only things we ever keep
Are what we give away.
Have you shared your love today for those you hold dear? We don’t know how many tomorrows we have—-let’s show our love today! Your love is a gift that only you can give!