NORMAN — As we wind down from the recent celebration of Valentine’s Day and its focus on candy, flowers and love; I am left contemplating what love is truly about. This contemplation always turns my thoughts to Christ who is our perfect example in all things, including how he loves all mankind.
In the scriptures we find that whether he was healing those who had faith, sharing dinner with those who were deemed “sinners” or teaching us how to return to our Heavenly Father, all things were done out of love. This demonstrated love was not the same that comes from chocolate hearts and flowers, but a higher order of love in which he was able to lay down his own life to save us all.
“Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
Thankfully, most of us will never be asked to give our lives for someone else, but we have been given two extraordinary commandments. The first is to love God, and the second is to love one another.
Christ showed us how to love one another through his many examples in the scriptures, including that of the story of the adulteress, who was thrown at his feet “caught in the very act of sin.” Christ, being the only one perfect enough to execute righteous judgment, asked those in attendance, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7). His love and mercy were enough to forgive and ask that she sin no more.
May we follow Christ’s example of love, showing charity to all those who we meet; even those who we may feel do not deserve it. Being imperfect, none of us are in a position to judge another. If we would like others to see past our shortcomings, should we not then offer that same act of charity to them? May we see the good in others, and their powerful potential for good, as did our Savior.
Let us first start with our families. What more can we do to show them the pure love of Christ? I am reminded of the saying “Love is spelled t-i-m-e.” Are we spending quality time with our loved ones? Not just giving them obligatory gifts, but showing them that they are most precious to us. Let us work to be just a little kinder, and more patient with each other, allowing the love of God to fill our homes and our hearts.
Beyond our own families, we must remember that we are all children of our Heavenly Father, who loves and cares for us deeply and more perfectly than we could ever know. Let us share that love with those around us. Let us smile as we pass others on the street. Let us be there for our neighbor in their time of need. Further, let us do these acts with a heart of love and gratitude. As Paul said, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
There can be nothing more precious, and worth working toward, than developing charity. May we strive every day to try just a little harder to have the pure love of Christ in our hearts, and to give that love to those we care for deeply, and to those we may just meet in passing.