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If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (Matthew 5:46)
And so the story goes that this priest named Valentine (who lived a very long time ago) sent the first valentine. Of course, anytime he sent anything, it was sort of like a valentine- right? What had happened is that the Emperor at that time outlawed marriage for young men so that they would make better soldiers. Being the romantic guy that he was, Valentine decided to perform marriages in secret.
When his practice was discovered, he was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. While awaiting his sentence, Valentine fell in love with the jailor's daughter who would often come to visit. Right before his death, he wrote her a love letter and signed it: "From your Valentine"...and a holiday was born.
Not just any holiday, mind you- but one that sees card sales in the one billion range! Restaurants are full, jewelry is flying off the shelves, and credit card companies are in love with their customers.
Has all this history, celebration, poetry, and music through the centuries helped our world become more loving? Nope. Same wars, same prejudices, same spite, bitterness, unforgiveness, and greed that has always been around. Perhaps that's because we don't really 'get' what love is in the first place- so in honor of St. Valentine, let's have a quick interview with two central figures who are authorities on the subject: Worldylove and Godlylove. Let's start with Worldylove-
Lane: "Is it true that you two are brothers who are hard to tell apart?"
Wordlylove: "Maybe, I don't really know Godlylove very well, plus I don't see him around very much."
Lane: "Well, what are you like?"
WL: "People say I'm mysterious and enchanting. I'm up and down, hot and cold, all seeing and blind. I fit a hundred different definitions, and I love sneaking up on people when they least expect it."
Lane: "Wow, sounds confusing!"
WL: "Absolutely. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is to get people to believe I'm the real deal, then ditch them after they think I'll never leave."
Lane: "So...you're not the real deal?"
WL: "Are you kidding? I'm whatever people want to make of me. I'm the excuse for lust, I'm the motivation for jealousy and greed, I'm the traitor to commitment, and I'm a wreck to relationships. I've inspired silly songs and worthless movies, and I am the itch that people just can't seem to scratch."
Lane: "Sounds like you're one dangerous entity...how can I warn people about you?"
WL: "Actually, there's a whole book about how to recognize and avoid me, but most people don't pay attention to it anymore. They carry it to church meetings, but that's about it."
Lane: "One last question, what's the easiest way to get you under control?"
WL: "I'd love to answer that- but my boss is calling, and he gets devilishly angry when he's disappointed- know what I mean? See you soon!"
Lane: "I hope not...now let's talk to Godlylove- isn't it true that you are dull, boring, and unromantic?"
Godlylove: "I know that's a popular notion, but Worldylove started that lie thousands of years ago."
Lane: "So what are you like?"
GL: "Contrary to popular belief, I am true romance- romance based in the context of commitment. I have feelings, but the feelings don't change the faithfulness."
Lane: "What's the main difference between you and Worldylove?"
GL: "Worldylove is defined by the person experiencing it, I am defined by the God who created me."
Lane: "That's quite a difference. No wonder most people avoid you, so they can gratify their selfish natures."
GL: "Sadly, yes. If only they knew that true freedom and happiness is found in giving yourself to others, and not in using them for your own purposes."
Lane: "How can people get a hold of you?"
GL: "Go to my owner's manual, written by my Creator. Specifically look at I Corinthians 13. If people could grasp the definitions and concepts found in that one little chapter, the world would be a very different place."
Copy the list below and put your name in the blanks. Then hang it on your mirror or in your locker and read it every morning.
If ______________ gives all ______________ possesses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
______________ is patient, ______________ is kind. ______________ does not envy,______________ does not boast,______________ is not proud.
______________ is not rude, ______________ is not self-seeking, ______________ is not easily angered, ______________ keeps no record of wrongs.
______________ does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
______________ always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
______________ never fails. (I Corinthians 13:3-8)
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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