John 15:13 tells us that "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). This scripture is talking about the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made to pay the price so that we can spend eternity with Him, but every day we have the opportunity to "lay down" ourselves for the people in our lives. Making sacrifices and giving to others of our time, abilities and resources is how we show our love. It's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day activities of life. Most people spend their days maxed out, but we have to make the effort to communicate our love to our family and friends.
Novelist Katherine Anne Porter once wrote, "Love must be learned and learned again; there is no end to it." In other words, love should not remain the same year after year; love is supposed to grow. Relationships evolve over time, people change over time, and our love should strengthen and grow over time, too. The apostle Paul prayed that our love would abound and grow in knowledge and depth of insight. That tells me that I cannot put my love on autopilot. If we put our love on autopilot and trust that the people in our lives will simply "know" that we love them, our relationships will not grow nor be as fruitful as they were intended to be. That's why it's so important to make every effort to keep strong connections in our relationships.
Today, find a new way to show someone you care. Do something radical out of your comfort zone! Ask God to give you a creative idea and be willing to stretch yourself. It can be as simple as leaving a kind note for a loved one or doing something extraordinary for a special friend or a complete stranger. Love is not love until it is expressed. When you lay down your old ways and old ideas, that's when new growth will come to your life personally and to your relationships. Dare to make others a priority in your life and let them see the love in you!