by Rick Warren — September 28, 2023
From 40 Days of Love
“We must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words.”
1 John 3:18 (GW)
We all have different amounts of energy, wealth, and talent, but we all have the exact same amount of time: 168 hours a week. You can always get more money, but you can’t get more time. You only have a certain number of allotted days, so you have to decide: What is your time worth?
The most valuable thing you can give someone is your attention. When you give attention to somebody, you’re saying, “You matter to me. You are valuable. You are worth listening to. You are worth my time.”
Jesus said that the essence of relationships is not what we do for each other or the things we give to each other. The essence of true, loving relationships is how much we give of ourselves to another person.
The best expression of love is time.
The Bible says in 1 John 3:18, “We must show love through actions that are sincere, not through empty words” (GW).
I can’t tell you how many husbands and dads I’ve talked to who’ve said, “I don’t get it, Rick. I give my family everything they need. I’m a good provider. We live a very comfortable life. What more do they want?”
I’ll tell you what they want: They want you!
Only you can give them your time. Nothing can compensate for time—no amount of gifts, money, or clothes. Kids don’t need things; they need parents. Another video game is not the answer. They need you!
How do you find more time for the people who love you and that you need to love?
Let me give you one suggestion: Turn off the TV, and put away your phone. It’s always amazed me that people will scroll through social media instead of making friends in person. They’ll watch reality shows about somebody else’s family instead of working on the reality of their own family.
Ephesians 5:2 says, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (NLT).
Love means giving up. It means I give up my agenda for your agenda. It means I give up my time for your time. It means I give up my preference for your preference. It means I give up what I’d rather do right now to do what you’d rather do right now.
That is a sacrifice. That is love.