"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth." (I John 3:18)
This is easier said than done. No, really, it is easier to say, "I love you" than it is to show it. Yet that is what we are called to do. We are called to bring Jesus to people by showing God's love.
So how do we do that? How do we bring Jesus to people by showing God's love?
First, what does it look like when we get it wrong, and second, what does it look like when we get it right? In addition, is there a situation coming up this week where we might have the opportunity to get it right?
For example, I have been guilty of getting it wrong lots of times, especially in my role as a pastor.
I used to think (and from time to time I slip back into it) that my job was to direct people's behavior.
I thought I was called to tell people what to do. Yet I have learned that when I do this (tell people what to do) I get loving wrong. Is it because in telling people what to do I am more concerned with what people might think of me as a pastor if I allow such behavior to continue than I am with the well-being of the other person? Probably. If that is so, then that is getting love wrong.
However, I have also found that I get love right when I become more concerned about the well-being of the other, than I concern myself with my own image as a pastor. I get love right when I seek more to understand than to be understood. I get love right when I humble myself and consider others better than myself. I get it right when I give people the benefit of the doubt and really seek to listen and to care about what is going in their lives at the moment. This is what it looks like for me when I get love right.
So how can I do that this week? I may not have the opportunity as a pastor, but I will have opportunities as a father and a husband. I will try to seek first to understand before seeking to be understood so that my family will know I really love them; not by what I say, but by what I do.
Lord, please help me to show your love this week. In Jesus' name. Amen.