Thursday, March 22, 2007

Love one another

In the International Version of the Bible, I John 3:11-18 says this: 11This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. 13Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. 16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

One of the things that stands out to me the most is the last verse, verse 18, that tells us to not only say we love someone, but to let our actions speak for themselves. I’ve often conducted my life like this and told other people this, but didn’t remember it was actually a directive from our God to do just that.

Oftentimes, especially in relationships, we say we love someone and then we do something that possibly indicates that we don’t. Our actions often hurt the person more than any words could. (An extreme example would be a physically abusive spouse who says he loves his wife, but who beats her up every night.) If we could simply remember to let our actions – and even our attitudes – reflect our love then we would be doing what God wants us to and walking in love.

I want to back up a little before I conclude: Another important point in this scripture tells us that if we hate our brother (meaning anyone) then it is the same as if we committed murder. And, as we all know, murder is a sin. So not only do we have to love with actions, but we also have to love in our heart. If you have hate in your heart for someone then it’s imperative that you deal with it, pray about it, ask for forgiveness and do whatever you need to do to release that feeling and move into a feeling of love.

Don’t think of it as doing something for someone else; you’re doing it for yourself. And you will be richly rewarded. Today, and everyday, walk in love.

“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” David Viscott

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