What if we loved people like it was their Birthday,
I feel like every year when my birthday comes around I reach this thought in my head. To me, Birthdays are simply magical. On this one day, every person around you makes you feel special and loved. People give you compliments that you’ve never expected, people you don’t even know send you well wishes, and the really awesome people in your life go out of their way to surprise you and surpass the level of greatness you had them at in your head already.
That doesn’t mean that birthdays don’t also come with their fair share of disappointments. When I was younger, my mother told me that one of my biggest faults was that I would set high expectations, and get disappointed when life didn’t turn out like the beautiful design I had in my head.
Birthdays don’t exempt you from flat tires, bad-day-having unpleasant individuals, forgetful family members, rain, work deadlines, shin splints, etc. Life goes on, despite the fact that you are officially one year older, an in the case of turning 26, you officially can’t be on your parents insurance anymore. What a bummer…
In this world we live in, there is quite a bit of “bad“. You don’t have to look too far to see that violence, bitterness, resentment, anger, and hatred surround us – and man, the devil thrives in that. People have a lot of struggles, and while birthdays and holidays can bring out joy and happiness, sometimes it brings pain. Some people have lost a parent, or two, and that brings them sorrow on these special days. Some are victims of domestic violence, unhealthy relationships, or painful surroundings, so to them, this day cannot offer an escape they may desperately need. no matter how diverse the circumstances, We each have a battle of our own.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world“ …JOHN 16:33
This brings me to what I believe to be one of the greatest misconceptions we have as Christians… that God wants us to be happy.
While I personally seek happiness – good days filled with positive vibes and success – that isn’t what we are promised by our faith, or should ever EXPECT.
Rather, God offers us peace. Peace &Understanding that this world is not our home, but one day, when we are called home, then will be the truest happiness, shared with Him.
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God” …ACTS 14:22
Paul says, “Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses” …2 CORINTHIANS 6:4
My childhood complaint of, “That’s not fair” had far more validity than I ever knew. But that’s what brings me back to the Joy of Birthdays. When I was younger, I wasn’t the easiest child to understand, even with my outspoken nature. Mom would try everything. If she didn’t bring attention to my special day, I would be disappointed. If she did, I would be embarrassed. I couldn’t simply embrace the love and appreciate it for what it was. My mother love(d/s) me, I have no doubt, but I was simply so hard to love.
I had to grow up, I had to mature, and in turn, learn to be loved, and to love others. The world we live in does not make this an easy feat, but our Bible sure has a lot to offer us on the concept.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. …1CORINTHIANS 13:13
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ” …MATTHEW 22:36-40
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. …1CORINTHIANS 1:1-3
On May 22nd, 2018, I turned 26 years old. I was surrounded by students restlessly nearing the end of their school years, coworkers keeping up their smiles for the closing days, friends who put on their kindest faces and best hugs, family who showered me with kind words, and of course the mass social media of “Happy Birthday’s!” and “I hope you’re doing wells.” I had an amazing day. My best friends got me flowers, the best rug with all of 1st Corinthians on it, a Taco shirt, the most spot-on coffee cup, and some darling accessories. My mother got me a subscription to God’s Glory Box which has me highly anticipating June 1st and I received a wall full of beautifully loving Birthday cards. My Students, Coworkers, Friends, Family, and even some strangers met all of my Love Language Needs, making it a forever memorable day, and for that I could not be more thankful.
At the end of my day, as I laid in bed still on an emotional high from all the birthday joy, I had to wonder how many people need more days like this. More days where they feel loved and full. I have my fair share of bad days, but I can cure those with a little help from my friends (or Mom), the gym, and/or the right music playlist. But as I look around, day to day, I see some sad faces. Some struggles. Some heartache. Some Joy. Some anxiety. Some wish-fullness. Some doubt. Oh, how the emotions could be listed forever…. I cant help but wonder, What am I doing to help?
When was the last time I sent someone a card in the mail for something other than their birthday or an event?
When was the last time I went out of my way to text someone just to brighten their day?
Throughout the day, do I invest in others by asking them about their day, their week, their life?
How have I loved people lately?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” …JOHN 13:34-35
Definition of love
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. …1CORINTHIANS13:4-8
I use the word Love daily….
I love Coffee, I love Orange Lily’s, I love Sushi, Tacos, and Chicken – Not all together of course, I love the colors Navy and Maroon, I love WWJD Bracelets… All that “love“, and those are simple objects, foods, and material things.
I love my Mother, My family, My friends, My Church Family, My students, My Coworkers, My Classmates…
But then, there’s God.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. …ROMANS 5:8
He gave his life, he washed my sins, he watches over me daily, he seeks a relationship with me, he knocks on the door of my heart and waits for my answer, he wants my future despite my past.
I am forever in His love.
I am His beloved.
I have His love above all else.
You have His love above all else.
Are you sharing it with others?
Who are we taking with us to heaven?
Who have we helped reach this eternal joy?
This Eternal Love.
Are you living -in- Love?
let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.