“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
~ 1 John 3:18 (ESV)
There is nothing wrong with kind words. Telling somebody you love them, or giving someone an honest compliment, can be a wonderful thing. Cheer and warmth are contagious, and most people can use a little reassurance.
But the best love comes not from words but from action, and it is almost always something of a burden, in human terms. The love of a mother for her child is possibly the most extreme form of natural love, and it doesn't have much to do with talking. It is changing diapers and wiping off throw-up, getting up exhausted at 3 a.m., feeding, bathing, and going to the doctor.
Christian love, though, is not natural; Jesus told us to love our enemies, to love those who do us ill, which is about the most unnatural thing we could ever do. Because the world does not reward us for doing it; we are not fulfilling a natural instinct, but obeying the will of God, when we love other people towards whom we do not feel natural affection.
Our reward, though, is even greater. For it is part of our cross that we pick up when we follow Jesus. God smiles on us when we help other people, and if we talk to Him in our prayers, and listen carefully, He will reward us even while we are still on earth.
Lord God, please move me to love others as Christ loved us, despite our imperfection and sin.
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Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Devotion shared by Mason Barge, Editor, Daily Prayer.
The best love comes not from words but from action.