Years ago I saw a cartoon that depicted a sour, disgruntled, elderly gentleman standing in rumpled pajamas and robe at his apartment door. He had just secured the door for the night with four locks, two deadbolts, and a chain latch. Later he noticed a small white envelope stuck beneath the door. On the envelope was a large sticker in the shape of a heart. It was a valentine. Love had found a way.

Only love can change a person’s heart. The Russian author Dostoevsky, in his book The Brothers Karamazov, tells the story of a hardened cynic, Ivan, and his resistance to the love of God. On one occasion his brother Alyosha, a man of deep faith who was confounded by his brother’s resistance, leans over and kisses Ivan. This simple act of love burned into Ivan’s heart.

Perhaps you have a friend who is resisting God’s love. Show His love to him or her, just as God showed love to us when He brought salvation into the world through Jesus. Shower upon others the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13—a love that is patient, kind, humble, and unselfish.

Authentic love is a gift from God that we can keep on giving.