How Do We Love?
1John 3:18 ¶ Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
As spiritual children on a journey with our Lord and Savior, we are constantly drawing closer to him. In doing so we are transformed by his love. The result is that as we are filled with his love and it oozes out onto the world around us resulting in others experiencing his love. This is not something that is experienced by words or great speeches or preaching, but it is something that is seen in living out truth and taking action. This is love.
Loved is revealed in truth and action. That seems simple enough, but is it really?
Walking in truth means being willing to be transparent about your life. Is there any type of behavior that we would like to keep hidden from others? Then we are not walking or living in truth! Even those who would consider themselves “faithful” followers of Jesus Christ are tempted to hide certain behaviors from others. We may be embarrassed about some of the things that we do in our free time, or things that we read or watch. If we feel that we have to hide these from others, we probably shouldn’t be doing them! We are probably not living in truth.
Social media seems like a horrible intrusion into our lives at times. At the same time, however, there seems to be something there that holds people accountable for their behaviors. If I do something stupid, chances are that it will end up being put up there for all the world to see! No, that’s not always a good thing, but at the same time, it’s living in the reality that I need to live in truth. Living in truth means Christ is living in me and there should be a consistency about the way in which I live. I should be the same with my family as I am with my neighbor, as I am at work, as I am at the grocery store. Everywhere I go Christ is in me and should be revealed to those around me. My behavior does make a difference because what I do is a reflection on the Christ I proclaim and whose name I carry as a Christian. This is love as truth.
Love must also be lived out in action. The way I treat those around me on a daily basis should reveal the love of Christ to them. Not only are we showing the love of Christ to the needy, but by ministering to the needy we are showing love back to Christ. Remember the question of Matthew 25:44, “"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’” Every day and every moment that we reach out to those with needs we are ministering to the Lord himself. So, next time you want to just drive past that hungry person or drop in a coin without saying a word, think about the fact that you are acting as if you are ignoring the Lord, himself. Instead, stop, look someone in the eye, shake a hand and ask, “what can I do for you?” For this is the way in which we begin to show genuine love for God and for others.
Love must take us to the place of action and truth. Without these, there is no genuine love and we are only fooling ourselves.
Lord, please help me to walk in your love today. Amen.