February 01, 2022

What Gifts of Love Have Influenced You Powerfully? By Sandi Somers

love hand hears by Unsplash

  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27 NIV)

 February is the month devoted to love. Our challenge this month is to consider gifts of love and kindness we’ve received and given.

 Being loved and loving—a missing ingredient in many relationships. Perhaps It begins with misunderstanding God’s love. When we don’t know how much God loves us, our love for others can go awry. We misplace our love with other people or things. We can’t forgive. We harbour bitterness. We feel rejected.

 On the other hand, loving others is a measure of how much we accept and know His love right to the core of our being.

Over this last month the Lord has been impressing on me what his love means, and to love Him and others more deeply, especially in these areas.


A number of years ago, my path met with a former student. As we chatted, I remembered how I had been unnecessarily angry with him when he was in Grade Two. Now I apologized. He gently put his hand on my arm and said, “I don’t remember. I forgive you.” Gratitude and an overwhelming sense of peace filled me. I realized then how transforming forgiveness can be to another person when I offer it.

The speaker David Jeremiah once said, “Forgiveness is always our turn.” Forgiveness doesn’t diminish what was done, nor does it condone. Nor do we glibly forgive without working through the icebergs of hurt, pain, confusion, and voicelessness. When we take responsibility and forgive, our spirit becomes free to love.


This winter I’ve been praying for a friend who is deeply grieving the deaths of loved ones. The Lord has invited me to enter more into her pain with compassion and empathy. And beyond this, the Lord has impressed on me to open up a tenderness to enter into others’ pain. (For an excellent discussion on compassion, read Alan Anderson’s January blog post here.) 

Valuing others

When I visit my nephew Tobi and his family, I’m greeted at the door by kids who hug me and tell me (all at once) about themselves. I feel valued and affirmed.

Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, was a breakthrough for me. People, he said, feel valued in five different ways: a touch or hug; words of affirmation and appreciation; meaningful gifts; “acts of service”—having someone do something for them; or quality time and attention.  Although the Lord keeps prompting me to give more of my time and availability to others, I’m still very much a work in progress in all of the areas above.  In addition, He is inviting me to “launch out” into the unknown, as I both interact and pray for those God places in my path. As I include more of these facets in my writing, others will know Christ’s love for them, and God will be honoured.   

~ ~ ~

Challenge: Who has graced your life with love, and/or whose life have you graced with love?  

Thought: God loves us infinitely more than we can dream or imagine. Demonstrate that love as Paul loved his people: “How much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:8, NLT).


  1. Dear Sandi, I love where you're leading us to write this month. Your post resonated with me. And I especially appreciate these words of yours: "Nor do we glibly forgive without working through the icebergs of hurt, pain, confusion, and voicelessness."

    It's in the working out of what happened that we'll happen upon God's comfort, grace, and power to walk into the healing He has for us. And then we can share it with others according to the gifts we've been given.

    Thank you & blessings ~ Wendy Mac

    1. Thanks for such a beautiful response, Wendy. I have another invitation to be compassionate. My brother Cyril broke his hip yesterday and is in the hospital waiting for surgery today. I'll be visiting him in the hospital and will be one of his main caregivers when he is released to go home.

  2. Sandi, thank you for setting the standard for our month of "love" writing. There are so many facets to love, as you have addressed with some of the main ones. I haven't decided how to approach this month's challenge, however, your post gives me some lines to pray along. When God challenges us to love sacrificially, as you are doing with your brother, He also empowers us with His own love. Blessings as you serve Him and your brother.

    1. Thanks for your sensitive reply, Valerie. I'm praying for you and others as you prepare your posts.

  3. You have been (and continue to be) such a fine example to those of us who "follow" your lead. Forgiveness is such a huge part of God's love so it stands to reason it also affects how we can love others. From one teacher to another it isn't always easy to "love " every student. Your bravery in asking for forgiveness has me reflecting...

    1. Thanks, Tracy, for your thoughtful response. No, forgiveness isn't easy. The late Desmond Tutu said, "To forgive is not just to be altruistic...If you can find it in yourself to forgive, then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator."

  4. What a great topic this month! I think I'll write about how gifts people gave me became so helpful. One of those is a Bible CD-ROM. I still use it when I write my blog posts. Though it won't work with Windows 11, it still works with earlier versions. The local library gave me a PC with Windows XP on it. It's my go-to machine for writing blogs. Another friend gave me a laptop with Windows ME on it. If the XT computer dies, I'll go to that laptop. Just proves that one person's junk is another's treasure.

    1. Thank you, Bruce. I'm glad you've thought of gifts people have given you and how they've impacted you.

  5. Sandi, the minute I read your February prompt when the list came out, I knew exactly what I had to write about. "...to consider gifts of love and kindness we’ve received and given."

    Like you, I have loved Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages - it was such a breakthrough for me. It so opened my understanding of love and how we receive it, not only to understand myself better, but so I could offer love to others more in keeping with the love language of their own hearts.


    1. Thank you, Brenda! Your story beautifully illustrated how others value you and your gifts. And the Lord wants us to honour and love people in the way that is most meaningful to them.


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