It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-12
We learn from scripture that love is not a feeling (though it can include that) but rather an act of selflessness and grace--sometimes deliberately done in the face of opposition and hate.
Today are 50 ideas and ways I have observed love demonstrated by others and/or seen love impact another, particularly where it is anchored in Christ:
- Let someone in front of you on the expressway. Let 3 people in front of you.
- Ask intentional follow up questions in conversation. Have conversations.
- Bake or buy a sweet treat for someone to whom you want to show kindness.
- Hold a door with a smile.
- Don't complain to your husband today. Instead, turn any complaint into a prayer.
- Show compassion to someone in need through sharing your time or your money.
- Leave a good tip at the restaurant and write a verse on the receipt.
- Thank your mother in law for the work she did in raising your husband. Be truly thankful!
- Choose a specific scripture to pray for someone on your heart. Pray that verse over them every day this week.
- Leave a thank you note and a bag of candy in Christ's name for the garbage man on a cold, winter day.
- Ask your husband how you can help serve him this week. Then do that.
- Really LISTEN to someone. Look them in the eye. Show interest.
- Carry gum or candy in your purse...safety pins too.
- Forgive your spouse. You need forgiveness too.
- Stop by your neighbor's just to say hello.
- Work to be a blessing to your family this week. Where is it needed most? Do that.
- Say a sincere thank you to everyone who serves you.
- Help another carry their burden by talking, listening, then praying with them.
- Let your child in on a kind secret. They will enjoy being in your confidence.
- Clean up after yourself (and others). Leave a place better than you found it.
- Invite someone to church or Bible Study.
- Smile at your husband when he comes home from work.
- Tell someone how forgiveness and freedom from sins is possible through Jesus Christ.
- Is there one you are at odds with? Make it right! Pursue forgiveness in your heart--especially in the deep places where no one may know how you feel. Wrestle that sin down and forgive whatever offense was between you, even if the person doesn't change or admit wrong-doing. Do this 70 x 7.
- Exercise self control over what you do with your mouth: eating and speaking.
- Call your mom and thank her for all she has done. Tell her you love her.
- Put your phone down and "be all here".
- Snuggle your little ones. "Make" your older ones give you a hug. Use humor.
- Offer to babysit for that busy mom you know.
- Teach children not to take the last piece of anything unless someone offers it.
- Use the soft answer to turn away wrath.
- Ask your husband out on a date. Surprise him with fun things during and afterwards.
- Keep jumper cables in your car. Give a jump start when needed.
- Share the gospel. Don't change one single element of God's word. Do this in love.
- Spend time alone with God.
- Bless your earthly father. Tell him you know his job was not easy. Forgive him for not being perfect.
- Be a wise steward of your money today.
- Find a way to demonstrate love in the face of hatred. Choose an action that exhibits kindness and points to Christ's love.
- Say I love you to each of your children today.
- Give your employer fully dedicated work for every hour you are committed to give.
- Have a family you don't know over to dinner.
- Make your child breakfast in bed.
- Defend the rights of the powerless and defenseless.
- Be willing to be late in order to help someone in need be.
- Look at your own house through your neighbor's eyes. Would you want to live next to you? Is there anything you can do to improve upon shortfalls?
- Don't gossip.
- Don't steal or take advantage of someone's kindness.
- Bear with one another. We are not all cut from the same cloth.
- Speak the truth in Love. Don't quit doing that even when it is controversial.
- Recognize Love is not a feeling, it is an action, a state of being. The Love of Christ will be offensive to many, but that does not alter Love. God defines LOVE and he is!
What would you add?
In Christ's love, erika