Matney: Love sees beyond our differences
This week Bilinda and I celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. We also dated for a couple of years before our wedding, so we’ve been together for over 40 years. I thank God that she has been willing to put up with me that long. Love helps us see beyond our differences.
For the last 20 years, Bilinda and I have been going to Loveland, Colorado, every February for our anniversary get-a-way. How exciting, how romantic. Right? Well, I have to confess we also go to Loveland each February to have our taxes prepared. We could do the taxes by mail but we like to get away for a day or so to celebrate the gift of love that God has blessed us with.
Loveland has held a fun place in my heart ever since I was a kid. I remember doing a fourth-grade report on the town of Loveland, and as a grade-schooler, I was intrigued that a town would be associated with love, valentines and a little fat angel shooting arrows through ruby red hearts.
But love is more than hearts and candy. Love is a wonderful gift from God that has the power to bridge the divide between God and man and between one person and another. In 1 Corinthians, 13, we learn: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Love sees beynond our differences.
Love is going to impact the way we see our neighbor from another country, or from a different social or economic background, or a neighbor with a different set of values on marriage, or from a different faith. Love sees beyond our differences and sees each person as a fellow human being, loved by God and eternally valuable.
Let me wish all of you a belated, happy Valentine’s Day, but why don’t we celebrate love all month long? Or all year long? The apostle John, known as the apostle of love, wrote in (1 John 4:8: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Love enables us to begin to know and understand God and our fellow man and see beyond the differences that divide us.
Love was never expressed more completely than when Jesus gave his life as a ransom for us to save us from our sins and from eternal separation from God. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
This month, and all year long, let each of us strive to love God and our fellow man. And, let us each express our love for God and one another in both special and practical ways every day.
Dan Matney is the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Avon. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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