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I begin each day with a resolution to walk in obedience to God, bearing the likeness of Jesus in my attitudes, words, and actions…

Then, I get out of bed and it all goes downhill from there.

Sly temptations tug at the rug beneath my spiritual feet as I journey through the day. Sometimes I recognize those familiar attacks, since the enemy lacks the creativity to concoct fresh slander. Sometimes the lies trip me as if I’d never stepped past them before.

Insecurity and fear remain the underlying themes of my derailments. Pride rears its ugly head as an offshoot of insecurity, too. I tried to impose humility on my thoughts as an antidote. Both my email addresses begin with “humble” to serve as a constant reminder. Yet, forced humility distorts itself into false humility, or even more often into self-denigration. Turns out, the opposite of pride isn’t humility.

Nor does self-assurance unseat fear. Each time I’ve tried to bolster confidence in myself or a favorable outcome in my circumstances, the emptiness of self-assurance soon caves beneath me like quicksand.

Praise the Lord, for He’s always good to provide the true solution to our sufferings, temptations, and shortcomings. In fact, He IS the answer. God defines Himself as LOVE. Divine love resolves the temptations of fear and its illegitimate offspring of pride. Dwelling in the love of God protects me from anything which would tempt harm to my everlasting well-being. The more I contemplate the Love of Christ, the less insecurity sticks to my ribs. Deepening my passion for the Lord repels pride.

He provides reminders of His solution to my fears in Scripture.

“Since you are precious and honored in my sight,  and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.  Do not be afraid, for I am with you” – Isaiah 43:4-5

“By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” – Psalm42:8

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:9-13

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:18-19

 

This Lenten season, I’m laying aside selfish insecurities and resolving to dwell in His Love. I’ll obey from a heart of passionate worship, give from a love that He first gave to me, and pray from a craving to remain in His Presence. With Christ’s help.

May Divine Love guard your soul, saturate your mind, and gush from your heart today.

            Diamond commercials and Hallmark ads glitter in the eyes of heartsick romantics. Neglected hearts feel sick at first sight of them. Loneliness drags the season to a crawl, so they begin praying for a freak storm to blow the flower stands and pink card displays off the face of the earth. Bitter calls plague the surgeon general’s office, demanding a ban on heart-shaped boxes for cholesterol-rich snacks. What advertisement could be more false than suggesting a chocolate-filled heart benefits the recipient enough to warrant a bow?

On a day when a rash of crimson plagues the nation and chalky candies determine popularity, some chests ache. Valentine’s Day amplifies a hollow life. When you know sweet words will never fill your mailbox, the front walkway grows longer. Everyone needs a love letter, whether it comes in an envelope or not.

Our human need for intimacy affects the quality of life year-round. Love improves physical, emotional, and mental health. Infants require affectionate touch for proper cognitive, social, and medical development. The fundamental need continues as long as we live. We’re designed to connect with people.

Since all of us need a love letter, don’t let your heart collect dust waiting by the mailbox. Intimacy doesn’t hit us on the front lawn like a meteor shower, and it isn’t restricted to romance. The most effective way to live a love-filled life is to pour your love out on lonely souls. We’ll only experience real love by sharing it. Reaching out dissolves loneliness.

If you’re a Valentine’s Day grouch, try to imagine someone who needs a kind word more than you do. Check out local veteran’s groups, assisted living facilities, or children’s homes. Let someone know they’re worthy of your time and attention. Continue your visits throughout the year. Chances are, you’ll feel more blessed than you ever thought possible. You might not have time to pester the surgeon general this February, but you’ll be enjoying the most wonderful love letter you ever received.