By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in words and talk but in deed and in truth. -1st Jn 3:16-18
Observation: Love is measured by its actions, not words. Love must be done in truth, not deception. Seeing a brother/sister in need and not helping him/her when you are able to do so shows a lack of love.
Application: For so long, I have placed an emphasis on words and saying things to others as a means of showing support and encouragement. Here, though, the Scriptures are clear: Actions borne out of love speak louder and have more meaning than just words. "Let us...love...in deed and in truth." Showing love in truth. That's not easy many times, because as a human, I get frustrated, I fail at times, and I feel like I don't measure up to the de facto standard set forth in His word. What to do then?
Remember Jesus' words, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life"? He states here that he is the Truth, amongst other things. So what if we love others through Christ? In other words, not requiring it of ourselves to "feel the love", so to speak, but look at the other person through the love of Christ and love them solely because of that? What if...we carry out the love of Christ not through our own feelings but through the Truth of Christ's love?
Prayer: "Lord, help me to love others as you do, not just in words but in what I do and with a pure heart. For those folks I don't like, or I don't get along with very well, help me see them through your love and not through my own preconceived notions. Change my heart Lord to be more like yours. Amen."