Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. 1 John 3:18
Last year, I installed the Bible Gateway app on my phone. I’ve been a big fan of Bible Gateway for years. It’s an amazing resource that includes numerous translations of the Bible, reading plans, study guides, and all sorts of other great Bible reading tools. Bible Gateway allows me to really dig into Scripture. I love being able to look at 3-4 translations of a single verse on one page.
One of the things I love about the app is the Verse of the Day. As a working mom, I don’t always have 30-40 minutes where I can sit down and read my Bible. However, with the Bible Gateway app, I’ve always got Scripture in the palm of my hand. The Verse of the Day feature allows me to quickly access a meaningful passage of Scripture that I can then carry with me and meditate on as I’m going through my daily routine. Let me give you an example.
Monday, I was rushing around getting my boys ready for school. I clicked on my Bible Gateway app and read the Verse of the Day: 1 John 3:18. I have my Verse of the Day set to the CEB version of the Bible, so this is what I read:
Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth.
I thought about this Scripture a lot throughout the day. I thought about Jesus, and the ways that he interacted with others. In my mind, I watched as Jesus placed his hands on the blind beggar and gave the beggar sight. I saw Jesus holding children, their innocent faces smiling up at him, while the disciples looked on in disproval. I remembered Jesus breaking the bread at the Passover meal, passing it to each of his disciples, and declaring that this bread was his body which would be broken for us.
You see, Jesus’ actions displayed an important truth about the nature of God’s love. Love is touching the untouchables. Love is valuing those society tells us to dismiss as unimportant or inconsequential. Love is sacrificing so that others may live.
Do you see the correlation between action and truth? Our actions show the world what we believe to be true. And Jesus’ actions revealed the truth of God’s love.
As I continued to ponder this verse, I remembered a story someone shared with me several years ago. A group of college professors and administrators sat on an educational board of directors. One year, as new members were appointed to the board, people started noticing that all of the board members were men. This was troubling for some members of the college staff, who felt like the makeup of the board did not reflect the diversity the college proclaimed to hold so dear. As the board looked for a way to address this issue, one staff member made a bold suggestion. “Perhaps one of the board members should step down to open up a space for a woman.”
This suggestion was met with complete silence. Everyone looked at their feet, hoping for the awkward moment to pass. You see, for all of their talk about the importance of diversity, not one board member was willing to relinquish his power to put the college’s belief into practice. In that moment, power became a more important truth than diversity.
Our actions show the world what we truly believe.
Living out the truth of God’s love is hard. Honestly, I probably get it wrong more days that I get it right. God’s love is countercultural. God’s love chooses humility over power. It chooses poverty over wealth. It chooses the least of these over the most popular or successful. It chooses personal sacrifice over personal gain.
God calls us to live in truth. This week, I challenge each of us to spend some time thinking about our actions. What truths or beliefs do our actions reveal? How might we act in a way that truly embodies the truth of God’s love?
Blessings and Peace,