“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”I John 3:18
I think back to the many times as a kid when I found myself in trouble, and I would always try and play the love card. I would either say “I love you” or “If you loved me, you wouldn’t spank me”. I don’t ever recall it getting me out of a bad spot, but it did not stop me from trying.
I was willing to say anything to avoid a spanking or getting in trouble, but love was not really meant in those moments. I would take tests that I did not study for, and I would do so poorly that my paper would come back dripping with red ink. Amidst the red markings on my paper you would find a statement in my handwriting that read, “I love you teacher!” written with the hope that it would add a 70 point bonus to my score. That also never worked and my parents would still have to sign near my feeble attempt acknowledging they saw my red ink riddled paper.
“Love” can be easily used by anyone to gain an advantage or favor. We use the word to express a feeling in a moment of time, not truly knowing what the word truly means. We have all used the word to our advantage without fully weighing the brevity of the word. Love must take action. One can gaze into the eyes of their bride and say, “I love you”, but what about 20 years later when things get tough? We must do more than simply say the words – we must be active in showing it through deed and truth.
I Corinthians 13:4 states, “[Love] suffereth long, and is kind; [love] envieth not; [love] vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” Love is patient and selfless and puts up with a lot. Love is not exhibited by doing poorly on a test and then writing “I love you” at the bottom of it. Love is not buying flowers and then blowing up on the one you bought flowers for. Love is kind, selfless and pure. Love is demonstrated in truth and deed, and has no hidden motive to selfishly find gain from a relationship. Love takes action to show love to another.
Where are you friend? Are you one who throws out the word “love” but is lacking in deed and in truth? Do you truly love as I Corinthians 13 describes it? Is the love you speak about tainted by a selfish desire or motive? What can you do to show love to others? Who is in need of you exhibiting real and true love to them today? Who will be changed by your love? Will you take action or will the word “love” ring hollow in the ears of those who hear you say it? May we not say words we don’t mean, and may we be found loving others in deed and in truth.