Today’s culture declares that expressing love absolutely must have some transfer of money to be a legitimate expression of love. Retailers count on it, quickly moving from one holiday on the calendar to the next to get the most possible marketing days and to capitalize on the emotional relationships among customers. They have just the merchandise or experience to show your love. But is that really necessary? Is the love of someone who is unable to spend money to express love any less sincere than that of the person who spends extravagantly to declare love?
There is no doubt a relationship between you and the people you love, and who love you, that has been defined over some period of time. I imagine these individuals may have spoken of their love for you by saying, “I love you,” at least once and maybe an uncountable number of times. Probably you have received gifts from these persons who are counted among those who love you. Maybe you know they love you because they take care of your needs. Perhaps some of these persons have sacrificed for you at some point in your life; perhaps they are still putting your needs before their own, still sacrificing.
There is a record in the Bible of an exchange between Jesus and His disciple Peter. Peter was impetuous, always the first to declare his loyalty and come up with ideas for protecting or honoring the Lord. Then Peter failed miserably in Christ’s time of greatest need for his support; he denied knowing Jesus three times immediately before the Crucifixion. After Jesus had been raised from the dead, He appeared to His followers multiple times. This exchange with Peter takes place when Jesus meets seven of the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and they share a breakfast of fish (John 21).
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17
Jesus was focusing on Peter’s commitment to serve Him and to sacrifice for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is easy to say that you love someone. It is far more difficult to commit your life and agree to sacrifice whatever necessary for the good of the one you say you love. Real love is way more than verbal expression or gifts or acts of service.
Real love is time spent getting to know what is important to the person we love.
Real love is dedication and loyalty under any and all circumstances.
Real love is sacrificing and putting your loved one’s needs before your own.
Real love is forgiving when they fail and need your forgiveness.
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© 2017 Jeanne Dial