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Monday, January 18, 2010

LOL

Even though my children are out of school today, there are still a few school activities going on that they are involved in.  One of those activities is the annual FFA Labor Auction.  This is the main fund raiser for our local FFA.  People from our town and surrounding areas come and "bid" on each FFA member.  They are paying for the member to do "labor" for them in some way, although rarely does the buyer require the member to actually do any work.  They are just supporting the FFA chapter because they want to do so.

At the National FFA Convention held in Indiana this past fall, the theme was LOL: Lead Out Loud!  Typically LOL meaning "laughing out loud", but they changed its meaning. I thought it was very clever of the organization to use "text" talk for their theme and make it something fitting for FFA and leadership.  I thought of another way to use LOL in our lives as Christians and that is to make it "Love Out Loud".

Do you know the little kid's song, "Love is something if you give it away. Give it away. Give it away. Love is something if you give it away. You'll end up having more."?  If you keep love all to yourself, yet never show that love to others in any way, your love is useless.

The bible has the word love in it 331 times in the King James Version and 505 times in the New International Version.  This is only the word "love" and doesn't even take in to account the word "loves" or "loved"! Jesus, himself, spoke about love many times as he taught throughout his ministry. In fact, He said that the greatest commandments  had to do with love. 

Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 
Matthew 22:38-39

So, first, in "Loving Out Loud", we must love God and Jesus totally - with everything we have.  Our love for him must be greater than our love for anything else. "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me," Matthew 10:37. And secondly, we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  Do fulfill this command, we must ask ourselves two important questions:  1.  Who is our neighbor?  2.  How do we love them?

The answer to the first is simple, but difficult.  Everyone is our neighbor.  We are to "love", but there is no place in the scriptures where it gives us the command to not love certain people.  This is extremely hard to do, isn't it?!  It's easy to love those we like and who are close to us, but it's much harder to love someone we don't really get along with.  yet, Jesus would put even those people in the category of "neighbor".

So, now for the difficult part.  How do we love them and love them "out loud"?  Let's use the chapter commonly known as the "Love Chapter" - 1 Corinthians 13 verses 4-8:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.


To "Love Out Loud", we must be patient with others.  We must be kind.  We must not be envious or boastful or proud.  We must not be rude or self-seeking, but also not be easily angered or keep records of wrongs done by others against us.  We should not be happy about things that are evil (or think about devious plots this may mean), but be happy with the truth.  To love others "Out Loud" we will protect them, trust them, be hopeful for them and the relationship.  Our love for others will persevere - not give up.  True "Love Out Loud" type of love never fails.

Never miss an opportunity to LOL.  It is just another way to "Shine Like Stars" in God's universe!

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