Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers. 1 John 4:20-21
We all have that one friend or family member who is a know-it-all and somehow an "expert" at everything under the sun. I know I do. To protect their identity, I will call this person Michael Jordan (thus fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming best buds with MJ). Granted, with them being a know-it-all, they have already figured out I’m talking about them.
Attending parties or eating a meal with Michael can be an exercise of patience and self-control. He jumps into every conversation by interjecting his insight and "words of wisdom." The more he rambles, the clearer it becomes he doesn't have the slightest clue about the subject at hand. But, Michael does his best to prove he's the authority on the topic.
Contrary to the commercials I grew up with as a kid, no one wants to be "like Mike." Often his interjections shut down all dialogue taking place at the time. If I'm being brutally honest here, people turn in the opposite direction when they see him coming.
The same thing takes place when our words of Christ's love don't line up with our actions and attitudes. We can be well versed in theology, flip our Bibles without blinking to Habakkuk and quote Scripture like a champ, but everything we say will be disregarded by others if love doesn't define our lives. Our message of the life-changing hope Christ provides goes in one ear and out the other.
Love can't simply be lip service. Talk about the ultimate conversation killer.
We love because He first loved us. If we fail to put this simple truth into action, we have no business opening up our mouths. Experts we are not. It's better to sit by the punch bowl and remain silent.
We display our acceptance and understanding of Christ's love when it changes the way we see ourselves and those around us. The way we love should cause the world to take notice. People will begin to wonder what makes us different. Why are they full of hope? Why are they quick to extend forgiveness and offer a second chance? Why do they love everyone and make them feel valued, cared for and known?
Compassion fuels curiosity. Love leads to opportunities. Empathy opens ears. Today...love others with reckless abandon....just do it.
- Where does the message of Christ's love need to be seen in your actions and attitude?
God, let Your love be the theme of my life. Help me to honor You in my connections with others. Give me the eyes to see people like You see them. May I display the courage to love unconditionally. Let my words line up with my actions so others are pointed to the cross. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.