"My little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth" (1 John 3:18).
If you really love someone, then you show it by the way you act toward that person.
Love is more than attraction. It's also more than sentimentality, like so many of today's songs suggest. By this standard, is love dead when the emotion is gone? No—not at all—because love is an action and a behavior.
Over and over again in the Bible, God commands us to love each other, and you can't command an emotion. If I told you right now, "Be sad!" you couldn't be sad on cue. Just like an actor, you can fake it, but you're not wired for your emotions to change on command.
If love were just an emotion, then God couldn't command it. But love is something you do. It can produce emotion, but love is an action.
The Bible says, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions" (1 John 3:18 NLT). We can talk a good act: "I love people." But do we really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.
Talk It Over
- In what ways is your love displayed in the way you treat your friends? Your co-workers? Your neighbors? Strangers?
- Think about each member of your family. How can you show your love to _____? Be specific.
- How does choosing to love others affect how we feel about them?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of pastors.com, a global internet community for pastors.
This article originally appeared at pastorrick.com.