1 John 3:16-20
Love is a word thrown around today so easily. Your best friend meets someone at a party, at a bar, or in any number of ways. Then they come to your house and tell you they are in love. Your neighbor down the street purchases a classic car from the 1950’s you see them polishing the car every weekend, and they tell you that they just love that car. People all around the world like to quote Jesus’ words to, ‘Love one another’.
However, things of this life usually fade away. Cars loose value or are destroyed in accidents and that love of things is destroyed. Couples who tell us they are deeply in love, come to us in five or ten years and tell us that they have simply fallen out of love and are seeking a divorce. We are emotional creatures, and as such the love that we feel so deeply one moment can seem distant at another moment.
Emotions and feelings are not the eternal, deep, sacrificial love that Christ taught, and which John writes about. This love is the love that puts the other and their needs above our own. It puts the other first, and is willing to suffer and sacrifice for the good of the other. It is a love of action and not merely words.
This deep love requires the action of our lives into the lives of others around us. We cannot look at the man on the street with the ‘will work for food’ sign and simply ignore them. We cannot look at the single mother down the street who is struggling to make ends meet and keep their home in repair on a shoe string budget, and not help out in some way. We no longer can look at even those who have done us wrong or are trying to hurt us and seek revenge. Instead in sincere forgiveness we must forgive and release them into the power of God’s love and forgiveness. We cannot ignore the poor around the world who must sell themselves or family members into slavery in order to survive. We cannot enjoy the coffee’s, teas, diamonds, and many mass produced products from fruits of their labors and simply ignore our part in the vicious cycle in our world.
John reminds us that if we do not have a love of compassion and true charity then we are not filled with Christ’s love. Love needs to take action. Jesus Christ took action to suffer and die that we may all be forgiven and have a restored relationship with God. He put us before himself. We should be moved by this love to put others before ourselves, and with open eyes move and act in our world.
Let us seek to love in the way Jesus has loved.
Keep on the journey today,