I remember as a kid in elementary school getting little Valentine’s Day cards with the question written in them of, “Would you be my valentine?” While they generally didn’t mean anything, it did make me feel good receiving it. I guess you could say it made me feel special, knowing that someone cared enough or liked me enough to give me a card and ask me to be their valentine. It is human nature to feel uplifted when we know that there is someone out there who cares for us. As Christians, while we aren’t going to receive a Valentine’s card from someone, the same principle still holds true.
In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he spoke to them about laying aside the old self and putting on the new self (4:22-24). He goes on to list several ways this plays itself out in the life of a Christian and his or her interaction with others. One such manifestation of the new person is to, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such as is good for edification, according to the need, so that it will give grace” (4:29).
Just as receiving a Valentine’s card from someone can make you feel special, so too can receiving encouraging and kind words from fellow brothers and sister in Christ. Knowing one another and the needs of the moment can help us to speak the necessary words which can build up the person who may be feeling down. Notice too, that Paul said such words will result in bringing “grace” to the one who receives them. Much could be included in the meaning of that grace, but just as God’s gift to us should make us feel special, the same is true of receiving the gift of an encouraging word.
So, while you aren’t going to ask someone to be your Valentine this week, you can still encourage them and make them feel special. Instead of asking someone to be your Valentine, you could ask them to lunch or dinner. You could write them a card or send a text telling them how much you appreciate them and are praying for them. You can go and shake hands with or give a hug to someone you might not always get a chance to. Just find a way to make someone feel special!