As Christmas approaches, many start to think about their loved ones and the state of their relationships. How are yours?
How do you treat those you love? Do your actions and words show them how you feel, or are they just busywork? Do you do things for others just to make them like you, to fill gaps in your own life, or because you love them and see needs you can meet in theirs? Do you believe that the people you love, love you as well? Do you love yourself?
Why is any of this important?
Because we all need to love others, be loved by others, and love ourselves. It can’t be one vs the other. If we spend all our time giving love without receiving love we will begin to feel burnt out, used, and empty.
If we spend all our time receiving love without giving love we will begin to feel entitled, no longer appreciate others’ attempts to love us, and selfishness will become a part of who we are.
If we neglect loving and taking care of ourselves, even if we have loving relationships, we can’t truly love or receive love and we lose ‘pieces’ of ourselves.
That’s no way to live.
Love without expecting anything in return, but make sure you have mutual, loving relationships. Be ready and willing to accept real love when offered. Never forget to love yourself.
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3