In this season of giving, it is good to remember that the greatest gift that we have to give and share with others is love. Although the holiday season seems to bring out the best in people, by being more open to giving to the poor and helping others, this should be a year-round behavior. God asks us to treat others with love all of the time. After all, He gave us the greatest gift of love possible. He gave us Jesus, His Son. Jesus Christ was born to show us the way to salvation. He was a gift of love from his divine birth all the way to his resurrection. Jesus is love--and his teachings and way of life provide us examples of how to show our love for others.
Love is not always easy to express, though. We are all human. Personalities can clash. One person's thoughts and ideas may not be acceptable to someone else. Traffic jams, long lines, rising prices on almost everything, unemployment or under-employment, and so much more can wreak havoc on a person's attitude. In these situations, a little patience can go a long way. To step back, take a long, deep breath, and think prior to speaking can make a difference. Wearing a smile can help to ease tension--and bring a little bit of joy to others at the same time.
Love is often misunderstood. God breaks it down for us in 1 Corinthians: 13: 4-7 says, "Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail," (Good News Bible, 1979, New York, NY: American Bible Society). Love does not have to be difficult.
God created each of us to be part of His family. We are all connected to one another as part of the human race. No matter what color of skin we have, what sort of nationality we may be, the name that we bear, whether short or tall, citizen, traveler, or immigrant, we are each a part of this great family. Families do not always get along, which is saddening; but, we are to give it our best. Sometimes an apology can be refreshing. Forgiveness is a great blessing. God does not expect us to be perfect, but we need to be able to admit to our failings and be accepting of others, no matter what the situation is.
Love. A simple thing that can create for us some of our biggest challenges. Share a little love with someone close to you today. It can be a beautiful experience.