“Can you show love by giving thanks?”
Though stated in slightly different terms, this question gets asked a lot about Love Defined and, specifically, the definition Paul lays out. How come gratefulness doesn’t show up in 1 Corinthians 13? Add to that list a number of other principles, actions, or ideals, and one can begin to wonder if Paul, or God, left some things out. We would submit that neither Paul nor God has done such a thing.
This week, the Love Defined Team would like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Verizon has other wishes for you, though, with their latest commercial vying for your dollars this Friday by extending a very “Happy Thanksgetting” this year. I pick on Verizon, but only with the recognition that they are just a symbol of all the companies wanting to see your smiling faces this week. Surely, the financial investment they make to get you and me to equate ‘stuff’ with ‘love’ and ‘fulfillment’ must be in the billions. But year after year, it never happens. Oh, the stuff may indeed pile up, but the love tank remains empty.
Though not strictly aimed at materialism, Paul writes that “love does not envy.” Rather, love is shown through a contented life. The challenge this week will certainly be to live this out at the mall on Friday, but look for other places God may be shining His light. The darkness of discontentment (i.e. the absence of love) can show up in relationships:
• When I’m frustrated with a family member, to what or to whom do I turn my attention?
• What thoughts do I think or words do I say when an argument breaks out in my marriage?
• When the kids are out of control, do I loose my patience or keep my cool and give thanks even in the midst of these exasperating moments?
We’re praying you choose contentment this week for the expressed purpose that it will be your key to unlock gratefulness. Whether with your things, your friends, or your family, be content. Not complacent, but content. And then let the gratitude flow. Happy Love-Giving!