Let us not merely say that we love; let us show the reality of our love by our actions. – 1 John 3:18
Above is how I read 1 John 3:18. Does anybody disagree? It’s a fairly simple, straightforward verse. It doesn’t take a Greek scholar to understand it.
Don’t just say you love. Love.
We do show love
Most of us are very good at showing love. This post is a simple reminder to keep at it. An encouragement to not give up loving. The world needs our love, and more importantly they need the love of Christ.
Our love is seen in our generosity. It is evident in our service to others and our gifts to missions. As we feed the hungry our love is seen. Love is in our relationships with one another, friends, family, and strangers.
Who remembers singing, “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. They will know we are Christians by our love.”?
I do. And I think about it in these days…a lot.
So why do we so easily screw it up?
At best, our love is inconsistent.
Scroll through our social media timelines, or watch and listen to us at a protest. Listen to our speech. You will find hurtful, hateful, and unloving words coming from our keyboards and mouths. They may not be our words. Think social media meme sharing. Yet we are guilty of helping them to go viral as we send them on to infect others with what are usually lies and fabrications. No extra charge for that last bit.
Open up social media and we often become very different people from the ones we portray on Sunday morning.
Somehow we have convinced ourselves that it isn’t hateful if we share a meme. After all, I didn’t say it. I just passed it along.
And give me some credit. After all, I did post that verse about loving your enemies before I shared that hateful meme about that scumbag politician.
Passing along hate is hate. Passing on what you know or suspect to not be true is the same as telling the lie yourself. Just saying.
Why would a Christian want to pass on a meme that is not true anyway? I really don’t get it.
Love in action could be as simple as refraining from posting hatefulness and untruth. What we used to call lies. To refrain from a hateful action is an act of kindness and love. Restraint is often the love action we should take when it comes to social media sharing.
Aren’t you glad that the Lord exercises the loving act of restraint towards us? I know I am.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and think about what we are showing the world. Is it Christ and His love? He died for everyone. Everyone. Why would we want to do anything that would bring dishonor on His name and drive those who need Him further away? Think about how people see you on social media. Would they know you are a Christian by your love?
Here’s an idea. Next time you feel like sharing a meme pause and spend a few minutes in prayer and worship. Pray for the person or people in the meme. Worship the Lord and thank Him for loving you and for giving you a loving heart. Now post away.
I didn’t think so.
Let’s not merely say that we love; let’s show the world our love by our acts of love.
One final note, and this is serious. I was not thinking at all about Valentine Day being this week when I wrote this. Really.
Keep the conversation going. You can leave a comment below or email me. Please be civil, kind, and loving.
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