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By Cheryl A. Steeper

While shopping recently, I couldn't help but notice the vast variety of Valentine items for sale. One such item was a whopping box of chocolates measuring three feet, by two feet, by three feet. Immediately, my thoughts went directly to my hips. No way had I wanted to be dragging that extra weight around! I could buy a heart shaped box, much smaller in size, but, chocaholic that I am I knew that those would never reach their destination. On to the card isle, where there were several verses to say "I Love You." Hmmm... should I go for the chocolates, or just buy a nice card for my sweetheart to let him know how much I care? On the other hand, maybe he wouldn't notice the section of chocolate that was missing! The choice was mine to make.

Jesus demonstrated his love for us, not by passing out chocolates, but by telling/teaching us the true meaning of the word love. 1st Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV) reads:

Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

To me, Jesus' words are much sweeter and more comforting than chocolate, they are words that sustain me in my trials and tribulations of this life on earth. They are ones that teach me about lasting, unconditional love, which give my life purpose and meaning - bringing with it, a logic that is so simple, so satisfying to my soul.

The moral of my story is this: Give/eat chocolate if you must, and choose to love, as Jesus taught. Happy Valentine's Day to All!