14-Day Valentine Challenge: Love is Not Proud

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When I was considering putting Day Five (Love is not Proud of the 14-Day Valentine Challenge) on my son’s baseball bag or in my daughter’s ballet shoes, God gave me a sweet gentle nudge this morning:

“No, Annie . . . perhaps you should put it on YOUR Bible.”

Sometimes God’s gentle nudges are often our deepest convictions. Here’s why.
Pride is a weird little verb. It means “to inflate, blow up, to cause to swell up, to puff up, to make proud.” Many things in this world can make us prideful. For me, it can be my ministry, my ability as a graphic designer to make my studies come alive with color and illustrations, or even my children’s accomplishments. Notice the bumper stickers you see on cars: “My kid is an A+ student at such and such Elementary.” Then you see another bumper sticker that says: “My kid beat up your kid at such and such Elementary!” Pride can make us think it’s all about us. But in the end, it’s really all about God.
We read in 1 Corinthians 13:4 that love is NOT PROUD. Why? Because the love of God is unconditional. We can’t do anything spectacular that will make God love us more. We can’t make a better grade or drive a nicer car. We can’t develop a ministry, make more money, blog another story, or toot about the accomplishments of our children.
God’s love is not based on our performance or personal character or abilities. God loves us because He made us, and we are His.
On my wog (jog + walk) this morning, I found this leaf. For real! (I had to circle back twice to find it because I was in awe that a leaf could be formed this way!)
leaf never withers
God reminded me once again of His unconditional love. He also reminded me of Psalm 1:2-3.

“Blessed are those  . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree PLANTED by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not witherwhatever they do prospers.” 

We are BLESSED if we remain PLANTED by God’s stream of Living Water. Our leaf will not wither under the pressures and storms of life because we are being filled with God’s Word. When we spend time with Jesus each morning, pride is thrown out the back door. Peace knocks on our front door, and we welcome home a believing trust that God LOVES us unconditionally. But, it’s always our choice to answer the door.
PRIDE loves to ring the doorbell and as soon as we start believing we are some kind of amazing  . . .  our peace with God is broken lickety-split! Pride puffs us up. Pride inflates our egos. Pride convinces us that we are worth a bumper sticker! But God says: LOVE is NOT PROUD. In fact, love is humble. And in a contrary kind of way, humble faith makes God PROUD.

Mark Batterson, the author of The Circle Maker says: “Every act of obedience, no matter how small, makes our heavenly Father proud—even a faith as small as a mustard seed—puts a smile on His face. Every sacrifice, no matter how insignificant it may seem to us, makes a difference.”

Yes, I needed to put Day Five of the Valentine Challenge on my Bible this morning. God continues to show me that He loves me no matter what I do or how many blogs I write. Every act of faith, every act of trust, every act of obedience makes Him proud—just because I am His child. Now that’s something to be proud about!
Lord, Thank you for Day Five of the Valentine Challenge! I need to be reminded that nothing I do can earn Your love. You love me simply because You created me and loved me first. Nothing I accomplish can make You more proud of me. When I am feeling a little more of myself than I need to be, remind me that You are the giver of every perfect gift. Help me to love others with this unconditional love. My leaf will never wither under the pressures of life when I am PLANTED by Your stream of Living Water. Lord, help me to shut the door on pride and open the door to Your love. Amen.
 
Questions to think about?

  • What do you tend to be PRIDEFUL of? (Your accomplishments? Your talents? Your education? Your Children?)
  • Why do you think God’s Love is not PROUD?
  • What are ways you can “shut the door on pride” and “open the door to God’s love?”
  • How can you share this love with others today?

@markbatterson, #thecirclemaker, #psalm1, #planted #anniesart

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