Posted by: New in Every Way | February 14, 2013

Valentines Unlimited

Valentine ClusterIt was early 1993–not Valentine’s Day, but close. I awoke to a world blanketed in snow. Like any school teacher, I immediately turned on the TV to view the list of school closings. Divernon . . . Pleasant Plains . . . Springfield . . . Getting closer. Then there it was: WILLIAMSVILLE. Woo Hoo! No school today.

Well, the first thing I did was bundle up, pull on snow boots, and head out into the winter wonderland . . .  with a snow shovel.

After my driveway and sidewalk were clear, an inspiration hit me. Feeling rich in time and good will, I cleared my new neighbor’s driveway as well. She came out with a broom about the time I was finishing, and seemed totally baffled that a stranger would take this chore off her hands.

Her surprise made me remember that I, too, had once minded my own business and expected others to take care of theirs. I had not noticed scriptures such as:

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1Timothy 6:18 NIV).

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24).

Apparently, being a Christian is not just about living an exemplary life and spreading the message of salvation. It’s scattering acts of kindness far and wide, the way God does.

Your Father  [God]. . . causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? (Matthew 5:45-47 NIV). 

Switching to The Message Bible for the next verse:

Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you” (Matthew 5:48 MSG).

Living graciously and generously is our privilege. It’s part of our God-created new nature. And it is powerful: Giving out an unlimited number of “valentines”–not just today, but from here on out–will have an amazing side effect: Evil will disappear from our part of the world.

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . .

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. . . .”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17, 20-21).

 

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