For the final episode of Anime April, we take a look at Violet Evergarden and discuss 3 ways to show someone you love them! If you haven’t seen the series yet, don’t worry there won’t be any spoilers in this episode but you should check out the series on Netflix!

 

Violet Evergarden (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン Vaioretto Evāgāden) is a 13 episode anime  revolving around Auto Memory Dolls (自動手記人形 Jidō Shuki Ningyō): people initially employed by a scientist named Dr. Orland to assist his blind wife Mollie in writing her novels, and later rented out to other people who needed their services. In the present time, the term refers to the industry of writing for others. The story follows Violet Evergarden’s journey of reintegrating back into society after the war is over and her search for her life’s purpose while trying to discover the meaning behind 3 simple words, “I Love You.”

Sadly there are a lot of people today who don’t fully understand those words. For some, those words have been used to manipulate and abuse them. As a Christian we are taught that the way we love others will distinguish us as followers of Jesus Christ.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35

Sadly there have been many in history who have claimed to know Christ, but have not shown the true love of Christ thus adding to the distortion of what love really is and what it looks like.  The actions of some have quite honestly turned people away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So what does love look like? How do we show it?  The following is an over simplification but we’ve broken it down to 3 things…

1.  Be Available

We know it sounds simple but that’s the truth. We should be available to other people. We need to be available to listen to them and help them in their times of need. Now this does not mean that you need to become a doormat for people or become someone that they are always dependent on. Being available doesn’t mean that you become their permanent emotional and life situation crutch, but it does mean that when they are in a legitimate time of need, you do your best to be there for them.

2. Be Honest

This one is multi-faceted. We need to be honest with people with where we are in life. You’re not a superman, you’re just another member of man-kind. As such you have flaws and mistakes just like everyone else. So if you’re going through some things or you’ve made a mistake, you need to own up to it.

Another aspect of this one is being honest with people about the things they are doing. If they are legitimately involved with something that is wrong, sinful, or something that will put them in danger of doing the above… we need to tell them the truth.  You don’t need to be condoning “XYZ” activity and encouraging it but lovingly tell them the truth.

That said this does NOT give you the license to be a jerk and beat them over the head with it. Screaming at them and pushing being a jerk about things simply pushes them away from the truth. So use caution and wisdom.

3. Be Gracious

The scriptures teach us that to those that much is given, much is expected (Luke 12:47-49), and the amount of grace given to us is HUGE. We are told that while we were still sinners, still locked into a lifestyle of sin and disobedience to God… He made away for us, He showed us love by sending his Son to die for our individual sins. (Romans 5:8).  So what does this mean for us?

It means that we need to show some grace to those who have not submitted their lives to Jesus. It means that it’s inappropriate for us to expect non-Christians to act like Christians.  Again we need to be honest with them, but we need to show them grace and point them to Jesus.

So in closing… love each other folks. Be available to those in need, be honest with those around you, be gracious with each other; because this is how people know that we are followers of Jesus Christ.

 

English Standard Version (ESV)  The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

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