Something else I've noticed is that as easy as it is to fall in love, it's pretty near impossible to love someone else more than yourself. With Valentine's Day just two weeks away, I've been thinking a lot about Romans 12:10:
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
I love how the old King James Version translates that last phrase:
. . . in honour preferring one another (emphasis added).
When you prefer someone else, you consider them more valuable than yourself, your time, and your needs. You highly esteem and respect them.
So I'm asking myself, What if—what if instead of falling in love this month (which anyone can do) I practiced preferring someone else above me?
Starting today, I'm going to focus on one "one another" command from God's Word each day. I'm asking God for opportunities to practice preferring others. Will you join me?
Report back here at the end of the challenge, and I'll let you know how my challenge goes, too.
Ready, set . . . LOVE!
The 2013 Valentine's Day Challenge
February 1: Greet one another (Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20). Your first challenge shouldn't be too tough. FYI: In New Testament times, Christians greeted each other with a holy kiss. Obviously that's not how we do things in America today, but you can make someone's day with a friendly smile and hello.
February 2: Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18). One of the very best ways to comfort someone who is hurting is with the truth of God's Word. Go ahead; try it.
February 3: Meet with one another (Heb. 10:25). This one shouldn't be too hard—just head on over to church!
February 4: Build one another up (Rom. 15:2; 1 Thess. 5:11). Since this is a challenge, I'm going to ask you not to compliment your friend on her hair, skinny jeans, or cool nails, but on her character.
February 5: Forgive one another (Col. 3:13). "As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." His forgiveness toward you is nothing short of lavish. When someone ticks you off today, think about how God has forgiven you and then extend that same forgiveness to them.
February 6: Bear one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2). No one has ever carried a heavier burden for someone else than Jesus did. He shouldered the crushing weight of our sins on His innocent shoulders. How can you follow His example today?
February 7: Encourage one another (Heb. 10:25). Jesus is coming back soon! The best is yet to come. How can you infuse a friend with courage in her struggle today by reminding her of eternal truths?
February 8: Serve one another (Gal. 5:13). It doesn't get much more practical than this. The sky's the limit!
February 9: Be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving toward one another (Eph. 4:32). God has kindly and tenderly forgiven you. Who can you treat with kindness today?
February 10: Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you (Rom. 15:7). Is there someone feeling left out who you can welcome to your lunch table today?
February 11: Care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25). Who could use a little TLC (Tender Loving Care) today?
February 12: Minister one to another (1 Pet. 4:10). God didn't give you gifts to show off. Use one of your talents today to encourage someone.
February 13: Show hospitality to one another (1 Pet. 4:9). Who would be blessed by an invitation to your home? You don't have to have them over for a meal (though that's a great idea). I think I might invite a friend over to roast marshmallows in the fireplace and talk.
February 14: Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16). Rather than asking for prayer for your bum ankle or your sick pet (not that there's anything wrong with that), will you go a little deeper and tell a girlfriend a heart struggle where you need God's help? Remember, this is supposed to be a challenge!
February 15: You did it! I'm so proud of you. But . . . why stop now? There are fourteen more days in February—just enough time to beat the challenge again.