The Best Time to Love Is Now
By Rick Warren
“Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.” Proverbs 3:27-28 (GNT)
We’ve been looking at the truths you need to remember if you want to focus your life and strengthen your relationships. We’ve learned that the best use of life is love and that the best expression of love is time. The third truth is this: The best time to love is now.
Proverbs 3:27-28 says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. Never tell your neighbors to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now” (GNT).
Why is now the best time to express love? Because you don’t know how long you’re going to get the opportunity to show love. Circumstances change. People die. Children grow up and leave home. You’re not guaranteed tomorrow. If you’re going to express love, you’d better do it now.
Charles Colson and George McGovern were at opposite extremes in the political spectrum. In fact, in the 1972 presidential campaign, they worked on opposite sides. But they both ended up with the same regret.
Colson wrote, “As I think back on my life, my biggest regret is not spending more time with the kids. Making family your top priority means going against the culture where materialism and workaholism are rampant. It means realizing you may not advance as fast in your career as some do. It means being willing to accept a lower standard of living, knowing that you’re doing the right thing for your children, giving them the emotional security that they will draw on for the rest of their lives.”
McGovern wrote a book about his daughter Terry, who died of alcoholism in 1994. After the tragedy, McGovern poured over Terry’s diaries and discovered that he was not as good a father as he thought he’d been. While he was spending 18-hour days fighting for political causes, Terry was at home writing in her diary that she missed her daddy but that he probably didn’t miss her because he probably didn’t care about her. McGovern wrote in his advice to parents, “Show more love to your kids by spending more time with them, especially during the adolescent years—no matter what it costs your career. That way neither of you will have regrets.
“I’d give everything I have for one more afternoon with Terry, just to tell her how much I love her and have one more of those happy times that we used to have all too infrequently.”
Friend, the question is not if you’re ever going to regret a frantic, overloaded, stressed-to-the-limit lifestyle. The only question is when. When it’s too late? After your family has fallen apart? After your children are grown? Look around at the people in your life. The time to love them is now.
That’s worth repeating: The best time to love is right now. How would your life change if you lived out this truth each day?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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