What do you love? Do you love your children and your spouse? Do you love the sound of rain tinkling on the roof, the smell of cookies baking, the sound of the birds singing at the first sign of morning as the sun begins to light up the sky? Do you love your parents and siblings, your car, your house, and your neighborhood? Do you love to read, love a good joke, or love ice cream? What do you love? Love takes many forms. Even when considering human relationships only, there are different kinds of love. There’s the romantic kind of love we have for our spouses (which in and of itself takes many forms),
the family kind of love we have for our parents, siblings & children,
there’s the love we have for friends and neighbors,
and the love we have for acquaintances, for the clerk at the store, for Civil Servants like our police & fire fighters, and for the person we pass on the street. (I know, you’re probably thinking, love the person on the street? Well, I pray for people I don’t know all the time–and that’s a form of love!) And there’s our love for God. Then there’s the kind of love we have for things like our pets,
our homes, our neighborhoods, our cities, our country, food, etc.
And there’s the love we have for things we do–maybe you’re like me and love beading.
Maybe you love gardening, golfing, bicycling, cooking, wood-working, barbecuing, fishing or reading.
Each kind of love, whether for a person, an object, or activity, is unique. Have you ever stopped and thought about HOW you show that you love a person, object or activity? Do you put thought and effort into it? Do you think about the outcome? How do you know you love that person/object/hobby? Love is uniquely expressed in varying degrees dependent upon the recipient. You wouldn’t kiss your beads! You wouldn’t clean your neighbor! And you wouldn’t hug your ice cream cone! LOL And you certainly wouldn’t kiss your child in the same way you kiss your husband. So, how you express love matters. When my husband Gary and I were in the early years of our marriage, we attended a young marrieds Sunday School class. The leader, a long-time-married lady who was one of the associate pastors of the church, talked about perfectionism. She encouraged us that not everything requires an A+, like when you’re mowing the lawn or cleaning house. You don’t have to worry about if you missed a blade of grass or a speck of dust! It doesn’t matter. A good job, not a perfect job, is good enough. There’s a Bible verse that says, “Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.” I used to think that that meant I had to do a perfect job! (And I don’t know about you, but that disqualifies me!) But in reality, the kind of perfection God desires is when we show love. He wants us to show our love by how we act–to do it wholeheartedly. We may not do something perfectly, but we can always be endeavoring to show our love–and that’s what God really wants. So, if you’re hung up on “doing-your-work-unto-the-Lord”-perfectionism, be free! Let it go! Just do whatever you have to do with love for Him, and the rest will follow. After all, “the first & greatest commandment is, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul & all your mind’. And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”’ Matt. 22:37-40 I can do that! And so can you!