Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
(1 John 3:18 NIV)
The well-known phrase, “Actions speak louder than words,” is exactly what the apostle John is saying in today’s verse. We love others not just by what we say, but what we do. Even little children will describe love as something that their parents do for them – give them hugs, gifts, etc. God showed His love for us by giving His only Son in order to save us. And Jesus reminds us, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15).
See, we can memorize all the Scriptures about love and talk about love, but if we’re not walking in love – practising love – it counts for nothing. The apostle Paul said it best in his love chapter:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
And if we’re not sure what walking in love should look like, let’s read on: “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.” (vv.4-8)
Let’s practise what we preach.