“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also aught to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need, but shows no compassion, how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let us not merely say that we love each other. Let us show the truth by our actions.” – 1John 3:16-18
In my head I hear an old hymn. “And They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” Will they? In our current individualistic society I wonder. Instead the unspoken rule appears to be, “You do your thing and I’ll do my thing. You stay out of my business and I will stay out of yours.” As a result we create mental or emotional walls that we think protect us and keep others out. Is this love?
Words sound so sweet, yet without actions they sound hollow and meaningless. Attend a church service and someone may say, “God bless you,” but do the words mean much when needs go unmet, when people don’t talk with you, when you eat lunch alone? Actions speak much louder than mere words.
One thing I can say for sure. God’s ways are not the world’s ways. Our world says hold on to what you get. If someone else doesn’t have, well we are taught it is because they are lazy, won’t try, or just plain don’t deserve it. Friends that attitude does not look like love. Yes some folks are lazy. I do not suggest you give the lazy money, thus enabling them to remain lazy. Still not every needy person sits around feeling sorry for themselves.
And God clearly says to us here that family takes care of family. He addresses his remarks to and about “brothers and sisters,” thus making it clear we must love the family of God and care for them. To turn away when you can do something, that does not show love. It shows selfishness.
Put your money where your mouth is. You say you like the idea of sending missionaries to Africa? Then support the cause with your wealth. So you see that lady with cancer and say as you pass, “I’m praying for you.” Does she have bills? Is she lonely because folks just don’t know what to say? Love gets involved folks. Love does not turn her back when hardship comes, saying it is none of my business.
Love reaches out. Love is not just a kind word. Love is action. Now go out and demonstrate that old hymn, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
These morning meditations written by Christian believer and author, Patricia Hawkins, who offers these meditations for your personal edification. You may contact Patricia at firstname.lastname@example.org.