In sharing the many definitions of aloha, KS Maui Kahu Kalani Wong KSK’74 reminds us to consider all the dimensions of the word so that we are in the best position to demonstrate the fullness of love.
Ka Ipu o Lono shares weekly devotionals to provide spiritual enrichment to members of the Kamehameha Schools ‘ohana. For more inspiration, visit the KS “Our faith” website.
No kaʻu mea i aloha ai ʻo wau,
A ʻo kaʻu mea i aloha ai, noʻu ia:
E ʻai ana ia ma waena o nā līlia.
- Ke Mele a Solomona 6:3
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,
He who pastures his flock among the lilies.
- Song of Solomon 6:3
He manaʻo o ke kahu
Hauʻoli Lā Puʻuwai! Happy Valentine's Day! Who is your beloved that you have wished this greeting to? We all want to be loved, to connect to someone. While that can be great, it is never easy. Love is something that must be nurtured and continually worked on to keep it thriving. What does it take to keep that aloha going? We can get an idea by looking at the other definitions of aloha.
We all know that love in Hawaiian is aloha but it is also kindness. Are you kind to your beloved? To treat the other person with kindness means that we speak and act gently. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” Speak and act with aloha, with kindness to the other.
If someone does speak harshly to you, show them aloha or compassion. That’s another definition of aloha. You never know what the other person is going through and their response to you might be a result of a situation that person has just walked away from. Your aloha, your compassion, might just be what they need to be able to find peace.
Aloha is also grace, the unmerited favor you can bestow on another, just as ke Akua has shown to us. We could easily be held accountable for all the hewa, all the sin, that we have committed, but as Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Such aloha.
First Corinthians 13:4-7 sums it up, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
As you celebrate Valentine’s Day, consider all the dimensions of aloha which demonstrates the fullness of love. May Iesū aloha for us be the example by which we live.
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