I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “love” lately. Of course the month of February often brings the topic to mind – especially with the St. Valentine’s Day centered perfectly between the 1st and end of the month. A sea of pinks and reds abound, and hearts of all shapes and sizes are everywhere.
But did you know that this world-renowned word comes from the Old English “lufu” – which translates “to be akin to.” This means a fondness and attachment that is deep and personal. As with a member of our family or “kin,” we would stand by, fight for, and even die for the one we “lufu” – love like a kinsman.
It probably won’t surprise you that the Bible is full of verses about love. In fact, one source reports that this term is found over 64,000 times in Scripture. And why not? After all, God is the Creator of all things – love being at the very heart of Who He is and What He is all about. Even one of Webster’s New World College Dictionary’s definitions for love includes that this affectionate expression describes “God’s tender regard and concern for all human beings.”
But getting back to this “akin” concept – in the book of I Peter we find an interesting verse. It reads:
“Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins” (4:8).
In this book urging believers how to live for God, the Apostle Peter (who, as you may remember, was asked by Jesus three specific times if he “loved” Him!) emphasized this particular guideline. Why should believers love one another? Because love covers so many sins. My sins! Your sins! Our sins!
As brothers and sisters in God’s forever family, we aren’t simply to say we love each other – we are to SHOW that deep and personal “kinship” on a regular, consistent basis. Our efforts must also be intentional in order to fend off our own sinful tendencies to take offense and, even at times, be offensive. Rather than segregating and separating from fellow believers, we are to stand by them, fight for them, and, yes, even be willing to “die” for them.
Isn’t that what Jesus did for you and for me? He gave of Himself – totally, freely. And because He did so, love covered our sins – forever!
We wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days – especially as you reflect on the One who loves you the most!
Thought of the Month
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”