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Love is a universal spiritual gift. God gives each person the capacity to love others deeply, truly, honestly, and with no strings attached. While one’s calling can be difficult to understand sometimes, we know God calls us to share God’s love with others.

What does it mean to show others love or to respond to others with love?

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Listen

[Love] does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

1 Corinthians 13:6

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Think

A Gallup Youth Survey suggests that cheating in school is widespread. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of the nation's 13- to 17-year-olds say there is either "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of cheating going on at their schools. Only a third of teens say there is "not very much" cheating. Why do so many cheat? As a teacher, I see all kinds of cheating from all kinds of students, but the reason is more or less the same: they are afraid of what people will think of them if they get a low grade. They are afraid of being labeled by teachers, parents, friends, or college admissions committees as “lazy,” “dumb,” or “a failure.” But remember – grades are not the truth about a person.

We are all loved by God and found worthy of the love of Jesus. We must strive to love others in the same way. In light of God’s love for us, our goal is to love others with the truth that they, also, are loved by God.

Patricia Lyons

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Pray

Lord, help me to reject the shortcuts of cheating anywhere in my life. You rejoice in who I am. I ask you to help me remember that I am your beloved child forever. Amen.

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Go

Life together means we live in community with all types of people. This is not an easy task, and God understands it is not easy for us. Yet we are still asked by God to be people with open arms, willing to hug, love, and accept the dirtiest, weirdest, poorest, richest, sickest, meanest people. Life together, with all the different types of people in the world, is messy and interesting.

God wants us to experience life together, not life separated. Be alert! Be open!

Patricia Lyons

Patricia Lyons currently teaches religion and ethics at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School, in Alexandria, Virginia, and also teaches adults at Virginia Theological Seminary.

The Old Rugged Cross

Clay Mottley

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