Thank you for your faithfulness in taking this journey with me! This is week 4, can you believe it? I’ve loved being able to share God’s Truth with you, and hear from you about what God is doing in your life!
As we continue to take a look at love this week, I pray you are moved as I am, about what love is and what love is not. There is no greater love chapter in the Bible than 1 Corinthians 13! It gives us a clear roadmap on life. It also clearly defines what love is, and what love is NOT! Because love is an action, it requires certain things, and it prohibits certain things.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
First, let’s talk about what love does not do. Love does not act in a self seeking, me first way. Love does not act rudely or offensively. Love does not brag, or boast, or self promote! Love does not hold a grudge or drag up the past. Love does not get offended easily. Ouch! That one really affects me. I am the queen of taking everything personally.
Acting in love reminds me that I have to be like ‘Queen Elsa,’ not ‘Queen Lisa,’ and just “let it go!”
Now that we know what NOT to do, let’s look at what we should do. Love is kind, thoughtful, and it looks to what is best for the other! Love is patient, it keeps on listening, and waiting, and staying focused. Love celebrates when the truth wins! Love protects a relationship: it believes the best about another! Love demonstrates trust in another. It gives the other person the benefit of the doubt. Love continues to hope: it looks always to the good and right outcome! Love always perseveres, it hangs in there when everyone else has bailed. Love never fails! Never is a tough word, isn’t it? It is something that we must continue to work toward! Even though I fail and fall short numerous times, it is still my goal! I pray it is yours too!
Because I know it’s God’s truth, I have to work at it daily! Oh, and just so I won’t forget, I’ve put it on the wall of my home!
The way people show you they love you, stays with you and makes an impact, doesn’t it?
Doing is outward: it demonstrates to someone that you love them, that you were thinking of them, and that you are willing to sacrifice for them. Thinking alone is inward: it only reflects on you.
God’s love is an action not a feeling, and therefore, it calls us to do something! It is in doing something for someone, that we truly impact them with God’s love!
Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Jesus clearly sets the example here for us: real love is not just a feeling; it’s an action!
One of the best examples of love shown to me was on December 5th of last year, my birthday. My teaching staff did something totally unexpected. I arrived at school as usual, to begin morning openings with my classes. All of the students were lined up with their teachers as they always are. However, this morning their faces looked a bit brighter! As I took the microphone to commence with my normal greeting, “Good morning, Eastside Christian School!”, each teacher emerged from their line up to the front where I was standing. Each one of them was holding a red rose. They presented them to me one at a time, took the microphone, and each proceeded to share something special about me that they appreciated and admired. You should know that words of affirmation are “my love language!” They each hugged me and I was left standing with a bouquet of red roses and a full heart.
That was just the beginning…
I returned to my office to find my favorite Starbucks drink waiting, and sitting next to that was my favorite pastry: a chocolate croissant! I didn’t think it could get any better than that, but it did. I was given a beautiful gift bag with treats and a gift card to my favorite restaurant!
I knew I was truly loved because of what they had done. That feeling of love in action did not last one day, or a few weeks, the truth is, it is still is in my heart! That love in action by my teaching staff will stay with me for the rest of my life. How often do we stop at telling people how we feel, versus show them in and through our actions?
As a young mom I remember disciplining or correcting my children. They would make a mistake and I would correct them. They would quickly say “I’m sorry.” However, just saying sorry wasn’t good enough. “What are you sorry for?” I would say to them. “What did you do or say that hurt someone else?Are you truly sorry for it? Or are you sorry that you got caught? And if you are truly sorry for what you did, then yes, you need to apologize for it, and ask for forgiveness. And then, you need to ACT differently!”
I love the card I received from my husband for Valentine’s Day, and I cherish the words that he wrote. I also loved the flowers, the special gift, and more than anything I love the book he got me from the Bible bookstore. He knew it would be one of my favorites! I was touched by his love in action. Knowing that after being in a relationship with him for over 33 years, he was acting on his love for me by doing those things. Knowing his nature, he would not normally spend money on any of those things. He did it because he was demonstrating his love in action, for me! I am truly grateful for that!
Just saying the words alone are not enough. Our actions must demonstrate our true change of heart.
I John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love merely with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”
So love isn’t just action, and love isn’t just words. It’s both! People need to hear how we feel, but they won’t truly know how we feel until we act on the words we say.
People need to hear how we feel, but they won’t truly know how we feel until we act on the words we say.
Often, it takes going out of your way to show someone how much they mean to you. Remember how much God has demonstrated His love toward you, and pass that on to others. Showing Kindness and love will change the world. It can start with you!
DO something today or this week to intentionally SHOW someone or many people how much you love them, and how much God loves them!
I’ll look forward to talking with you next week as we look into the power of our tongue!
Speak Truth Love