February is the shortest month of the year. It is also the month where red hearts and little naked babies with wings begin to appear everywhere. I'm not sure how an organ within the body became the symbol for love. At least it's a pleasant shape! Personally, I'm grateful they didn't choose the kidney as an eternal sign of love! Or the Pancreas! Can you imagine red foil covered pancreases hanging from the ceilings of all our stores?! It's February, the month of love, and anything about Sweethearts is fair game!
While Valentine's Day is marketed as a "couples holiday", let's not forget some basic facts about love;
Firstly, God IS love. (1 John 4:16) Secondly, there is no fear in love. (1 John 4:18) Thirdly, if you love God, you WILL love your fellow man. (1 John 4:21) (O brother! Just go ahead and read the whole chapter! It's awesome!) We know by reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, how to define love. Its simply a matter of asking yourself, "Do I exhibit these behaviors toward people?" Also, if you wonder about being loved, you may ponder, "Does this person exhibit this behavior toward me?"
The simple need for love is great in our society today. Loving each other is a vital part of our existence.People feel alone and loneliness leads to depression. Look at these statistics on depression;
· Recent statistics suggest roughly seven of every one hundred people suffer depression after age 18 at some point in their lives.
· As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents have clinical depression. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24.
· Most people diagnosed with major depression, are diagnosised between their late twenties to mid-thirties.
· About six million people are affected by late life depression, but only 10% ever receive treatment.
· For every one man that develops depression, two women will, regardless of racial or ethnic background or economic status.
· More than half of all people caring for an older relative show clinically significant depressive symptoms.
· By the year 2020, depression will be the 2nd most common health problem in the world.
We live in a hurting world! We are Jesus' hands to this hurting world. We carry a serious responsibility. When Adam was in the garden of Eden, God looked down on his creation and pointed out a foundational element of all humanity; "it is not good that man should be alone..." (Gen 2:18)
Adam had God. How could he be considered "alone" when he had God? Isn't God suppose to be our everything? Our genetic code, ingrained by The Creator, causes us to desire a connection to other humanity. I could write on and on about the power of unity here, but my focus is "love," so I'll stay on topic and say: "LOVE!" (Oops! Did I just holler that?)
Love your brothers and sisters in the church by being present AT church, and showing a common interest of celebrating Christ with them. Love them by joining them in a Home Fellowship Group setting, where you can discuss the Word of God and get to know their needs as well as share your own.(You have not, because you ask not...) Love, by showing concern over their hardship. Love, by rejoicing over their success. Love your coworkers and neighbors and cashiers at the stores where you shop, by smiling and asking about their day. Love them by looking for an opportunity to invite them to your Home Fellowship Group, or a church service.
And lastly, love God-by loving each other!