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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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With Valentines Day this past weekend we were reminded of the word “Love” everywhere we turned.  We saw it in the television shows we watched or the heart shaped balloons we stood next to in the checkout line at the grocery store.  It’s one thing to say the word “Love”, it’s another thing to live it.  Everyone wants someone to love them, but most people don’t have the same expectations for themselves.  Love is not only an emotion, it is a choice.  It takes courage to love, to conquer the fears that stop us from giving our time, energy or money to love someone else regardless of what we get back.  Be courageous!  Choose to love!

Here are three simple choices you can make today to become a loving person.

1. Consider

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

Think and pray about the people closest to you (roommates, friends, family, coworkers). What would encourage, inspire or help them have a better day, month, year?  What are the needs you see in their life?  What are they going through?  Write it down.

2. Serve

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10 (NIV)

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.

Romans 15:1-2 (NIV)

After you take time to consider what your friends, family and coworkers need.  Take action.  One of the most serving things done for me was a few years ago when I was just out of college.  One of my housemates saw how consistently messy my room was, so he cleaned it up.  My room went from trashed to spotless!  I was amazed.  He left a scripture about cleanliness and a note to never let it get that messy again.  I was so moved, that I cried.

What can you do to serve and amaze someone?  If you see they are lonely, treat them to lunch or invite them over for a homemade dinner.  If they like rock climbing, try it out with them, even if it’s not your interest.  If their car is dirty, clean it.  If they need help in school, with their schedule or finances, put the time in to help them.  You get the idea.

3. Give

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

When you are generous with the love you give and genuinely want others to be refreshed you will feel refreshed.  True and pure love is giving without expecting anything back in return.

An unexpected gift at an unexpected time will brighten anyone’s day.  Some examples are…their favorite coffee drink, a helpful scripture or favorite snack.  The more personal the better.

Don’t just think about loving. Take action! Consider, serve and give today!  It will change your heart and change others’ lives.

Written by

Nick Straw

Nick Straw is a Santa Clara University alum, and is passionate about ministry and community service work in the San Francisco Bay Area.