Happy February everyone. I welcome you to join me this month in celebrating Valentine’s Day with a bit of a twist. Typically, on Valentine’s Day people carve out time to show their significant other or loved ones their affection through cards and gifts. I appreciate the intention behind this holiday. On the other hand, I see where there is a lack of sincerity in so many who celebrate it. When you hear the words “I love you” instantly you feel special and gravitate toward the individual who said it. When these words are expressed, it creates a sense of comfort, security, joy, and belonging for the one who received it. What happens when that same individual who told you they loved you stabs you in the back with words and behaviors that are hurtful. Immediately you feel rejection and question whether their words were sincere. That is an example of saying one thing and doing another.
When true love is not being properly practiced, then our behaviors contradict what we say we believe. When true love is not being practiced, then we are choosing to love the wrong things instead. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Do everything in love.” It is vital that before celebrating or taking time to practice acts of love we understand what love is. According to God’s word, love is true, never self-seeking, trustworthy, kind, and gracious. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
I want to introduce to you the concept of understanding habitual love. When understanding this concept it is important to recognize that humans are creatures of habit. We tend to practice or model after whatever it is we believe and focus our attention on the most. We believe in, focus primarily on, and model after the things that we love. So what if we love the wrong things, will that therefore affect how we live? The answer to that is yes. When we choose to love the wrong things, we are creating an idol out of something that was not originally meant to be worshipped. What you believe in, and love dictates your thoughts, motives, and behavior. This month I encourage you to join me in practicing love the correct way.
Making True Love A Habit
There are so many things that we can easily become distracted by and begin to idolize; or in other words, love and worship more than God. Those things can include money, relationships, titles, people, sex, materialistic things, and so on. Just as it says in Matthew 22:37 and Exodus 20:3, you shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and mind and hold nothing above Him. For example, if you become a lover of money then over time you have positioned your heart to believe that in life money is everything. Therefore, you place your security in it and place those that have more money on a pedestal. If you begin to idolize a famous influencer, then whatever their standards and life choices are you begin to reflect as well. If we are not aware of what we truly love, we will deprive ourselves of our relationship with God, others, ourselves, and God’s plan for our lives.
To practice love correctly one must make true love a habit. This month I am choosing to make true love a habit through awareness, repentance, and application.
- As I am becoming more aware of my struggles with idolizing performance and relationships, I have freedom.
- God has been faithful to forgive me when I repent. God has also taught me how to actively surrender and let go of the things I find difficult to yield.
- This month I am actively choosing to love what God loves and stop idolizing what does not matter (Matthew 6:19-21). I am praying continuously and practicing believing what scripture I read for my daily devotional.
- “And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)
“You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)
- “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8)
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
- “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that
by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and
perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is
anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Join me this month in celebrating this Valentine’s Day with a bit of a twist! This entire month I challenge you to choose to make love a habit by practicing awareness, repentance, and application.