Start the next part of your journey. Go far close to home at McDowell Tech, the 6th best community college in the USA

Life Lessons February 2024

By Doug Harrell

Mitchell CountyDoug and Barbara Harrell Mitchell County


February is the month of Valentine’s Day, I look at it as “Love Month”.  There is nothing outside the saving grace of our Heavenly Father that has the impact on our lives that love does.  Our lives center around being cared for, needed, being worthy, and most of all, being loved!  The Bible talks about the love of God all through the chapters and verses that we read.  John 3:16 is the standard by which many of us hopefully build our lives.  For God did so love the world that He was willing to give His only begotten Son that you and I, yes us, could have eternal life, not just a hole in the ground to rot and decay in!  One of the most important things in life is for us to spread that love around to those around us.  Starting with our family, how often do you tell them that you love them?  Do you voice that every day of your life? Do you ingrain that in their minds to the point that there is never a question about that?  As you are raising your children do you love them enough to correct them, to guide them in the right direction?  Think about it, being their best friend is not necessarily your job.  Your job is to love them enough to equip them to face the future in a tough world with the ability to survive and be a contributing adult when they mature.  Do you take the time to tell your mate daily, several times, that you love and treasure them, that you give thanks to God for having been blessed with them for a partner over the years, do your actions also bear this out?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 King James Version (KJV)

“4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

In the King James Bible, the word Charity is used for love, love is called the most important of the traits mentioned.  Do you understand how critical it is for each of us in our personal lives and the lives of those whose paths we cross each day?  It is all too easy to become judgmental in our acceptance of those around us and we oftentimes overlook the fact that we are all children of God and that His grace is sufficient to deal with it all.  We all have access to a High Priest who was exposed to all sin but sinned not, and He understands our human nature, but most of all, He loves us enough to forgive our sins, and the sins of those around us, if we will confess and turn back to Him.

We cannot bring others into the fold of God if we turn away from them because they have fallen short.  We don’t have to condone evil or sin, but we are commanded to love and forgive as God forgave and forgives each of us.  The Lord’s Prayer tells us that we are asking for God’s forgiveness as we forgive others!  We are part of the equation, we have a role to play by being willing to forgive also.  Carrying a grudge around, or being angry with a family member or neighbor does more to harm us than it does them.  Anger is like a cancer in our hearts, it eats it away and destroys it. Always strive to be the first to say I am sorry, and be the first to accept someone’s apology, forgive even if you may not forget.  I truly believe that when God forgives, He also forgets, our sins or no more!  I pray for that ability!

Determine to be an open book, admit your frailty, and accept the same in others.  Strive to let your love be evident even in times of correction, guide, and direct with sincere love, but be willing to use tough love at times when it is needed.  Don’t tell folks that is all okay when it is wrong, but be conscious of how you do it.  Remember that the tongue is a little member of your body, but it is like the rudder of a large ship, it can turn the ship around.  Turn the ships around with love in your voice.  Remember the Proverb, a soft answer turneth away wrath.  Guard your words, count to ten first, think about the WWJD bracelet (What Would Jesus Do), and act accordingly.  What did Jesus do when talking with the woman caught in adultery, he said neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more!  Be more conscious of giving love than hostility, love does conquer all.  To God be the glory.


Doug Harrell is a lifelong resident of Mitchell County, Owner of Harrell Hill Farms, a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church, and former publisher of Blue Ridge Christian News. You can find him on Facebook at

You can read more good Christian News from Doug Harrell HERE