Love Never Counts - Sunday. November 2, 2014
Love has no end and no limits. It remains when all else fails; it grows as hearts are knit together in the bonds of kindness, selflessness, and compassion; it simply endures. And just as true love never quits, it also never counts or itemizes—it flows freely from an abundant heart.
As American pastor Charles Edward Jefferson observed: “When did a mother ever count the number of times she kissed her baby, and when did a friend ever catalogue the number of favors toward his friend, or when did a parent ever make a list of all the good things he gave his children? Love never counts. It is the nature of love to give, and to keep on giving, and then to devise new ways of larger giving, and to imagine still additional needs which may be supplied.”1
Truly, love is giving. And the irony is that the more we give, the more our love expands, and our desire and capacity to give also increase. The virtues and qualities and habits of a loving heart grow within us.
In the same way, love doesn’t keep a list of wrongs or offences. The Apostle Peter once asked, “How [often] shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” Jesus’s answer, “Until seventy times seven,” was less about specific numbers and more an invitation to stop counting.2 Love, after all, never counts.
We witness this truth every time we watch a worried parent patiently nursing a sick child back to health. Then, decades later, that same son or daughter gives similar loving care to the elderly parent—not out of a sense of indebtedness; simply out of love. The years may come and go, but the words and deeds of love are forever engraved in our hearts. Who can ever forget an act of love freely given?
As we strive to show and grow our love, let us remember that our expressions of love are echoes of the continuous and unlimited love of God. For as we truly love, we come to know His perfect love.3
-Lloyd D. Newell
1. The Character of Jesus (1908), 210.
2. See Matthew 18:21–35.
3. See 1 John 4:7–12.