This weekend's post is a reflection on Valentine's Day, of sorts... Seeing as how Valentine's Day was this past Tuesday, it only seems appropriate to bring it up again... Right...? No? Well then, we'll talk about love in a more general sense, but first things first.
This past Valentine's Day, my parents, Joel and Elaine Reed celebrated 42 years of marriage, and I just wanted to say, again, Congratulations and We Love You! Thanks for being a great example of how a marriage can last and work through the good and the bad!
One of my favorite movies is Forrest Gump, and if you have seen the movie then you will know the line, "Momma always said, 'stupid is as stupid does.'" If you haven't seen the movie, then go rent/buy/borrow it -it's a good one. You might also be familiar with the line from others who have seen it. I love this line, because it can actually translate to many other things, not just stupidity...
I am currently reading the book, "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. Check out her blog about it here. It is a really good book with a good amount of insight, and I have to give her a ton of credit, she did a lot of research about happiness in order to do this project and to write her book. In her book you will find what she calls her 12 Personal Commandments. Number 3 on her list is "Act the way you want to feel." I bring this, and her insurmountable research, up because this is a notion that is not merely a suggestion. There is a significant amount of research that supports this idea. I will also reference back to Forrest Gump's mother who said "Stupid is as stupid does," and how I believe that the statement itself can stand alone, but it can also translate to so many other aspects of our lives. Another interesting fact about this notion - it's also a biblical principle...
Colossians 3:14 "And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony."
So, now you are probably thinking 1 of 2 things.
1. Wow Matt! I see it. Or... and more likely...
2. Matt, I think you got the wrong verse, that doesn't really support what you're trying to say here...
I am going to assume the latter and add this. When we wake up in the morning, we make a choice every day. We decide what we are going to wear. For some of us that is a pretty lengthy decision, and for some of us it's simple - may even be predetermined for us. Whatever the case, we choose to put clothes on. We choose what we are going to wear and how we are going to look.
While not quite as easy, we can also choose how we act. We can choose to put on love, as the scripture above points out, or we can choose not to, but that is a choice that is free for us to make. When we choose love, we begin to love more, just like when we choose to wear clothes that we look and feel good in, we have a tendency to work harder and act differently than when we do not look and feel good. When we choose to put on love, or any other emotion, we are choosing to let that show to the rest of the world.
Even though we can choose to wear specific clothes every day, we cannot decide how other people will react to what we are wearing. The same is true with our decision to wear love. All we can do is wear love and act love out; we cannot choose how others will respond to the love we wear. That should not stop us from wearing love, but it does, all too often...Just like those shoes you have that someone laughed at that are now at the back of your closet. You know why you haven't gotten rid of them...? Because you still really want to wear them.
I am guilty of this far too often myself. I wake up some mornings, look into my emotional closet, and pull out apathy or frustration or bitterness, because sometimes those take so little effort and can become so routine that it's like grabbing my favorite pair of jeans or t-shirt, throwing it on and going about, business as usual. Really, what I'd rather pull out of the closet and put on is love and kindness and passion and so many other things - because, a secret I learned is that those things look great on everyone! Really, they are some of the most flattering things you can put on.
So here is my challenge to us, this week when you wake up and look into your actual closet with all of your clothes, and as you pull out what you are going to wear, look into the emotional closet in your mind, and pay attention to what you are reaching for. If its not love, put it back, find the love, and wear it!
Let's hear from you! How do you try to wear love in your life?