This year is ending, and I have resolved to prioritize love over anything else. To let love affect all my interactions. This New Year's resolution has had more impact on my relationships than any other, even though I have done it very imperfectly.
Love softens things. It has changed how I relate to my family, friends, and even strangers. Instead of focusing on the results or what I want to do, it makes me stop and consider them. To listen and seek to understand, to offer compassion instead of judgment, and to accept people as they are instead of trying to improve things.
Prioritizing love has made me prioritize relationships and the things I spend time on. It has tested my patience but also expanded it. It has made me more intentional and present in everyday exchanges. It has helped me share others too heavy burdens and to love without strings attached.
As I light the second candle of Advent, Love, I want to make more room for it. I want my faith to grow more in my heart than in my head. To love and genuinely care for others over trying to teach, preach or state my opinions. I want to be an easy forgiver, give more grace to others and let go of those things that get in the way. Prioritizing love will take a lifetime, but there are many opportunities to practice and learn.
1 Corinthians teaches us a lot about love. We may have many talents and opportunities to do great things in this world, but without love, they are useless. Love makes our actions worthwhile.
This advent week, I want to be a student of love from the Great Father who loved us first. Even when we refuse His love, He still loves. Even though we lash out against Him and blame Him, He still loves us. When we could not save ourselves, He saved us by giving His life. Our ability to love comes from Him loving us first. I want to meditate on how wide, long, high and deep is the love of Christ.
This Christmas time, let my heart grow like the Grinch's – 3 x its size — "And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville, they say – that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!"