What’s love got to do with it?

“I love you!”  If the US government got a penny for each time an American citizen uttered that phrase, in the course of only a single day, our national debt would be paid off at the stroke of midnight.  It wasn’t so a few generations ago.  That phrase was hard to come by in those bygone days.  However, the actions commensurate with that phrase seemed to have been much more fashionable than they are today.

In the 21st century, everyone seems to have their own definition for the word love—from popular talk show hosts to your garden variety psychologists and self-styled pop icons—everyone wants to weigh in.  But they are all way in over their heads.  And in an age when words speak much louder than actions, it’s high-time we return to the only One who can truly define love—the One who created it…the one who is it:

 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

This is it.  Your search is over.  No need to look any further.  This means that when we say to someone, "I love you," we automatically imply that we are carrying out towards them all the attributes of love found in 1 Corinthians 13.  Are we?  Perhaps it’s time we take heed to the Apostle John’s exhortation in 1John 3:18: “Little children, let us not love in word or in tongue but in deed and in truth.”

I think it’s time we start doing a little less talkin’ and a lot more lovin’.  Perhaps you’ll be encouraged by the words of this poem I penned many years ago:

Love me not with words
Speak of patience
Show me haste
Speak of kindness
Show me meanness
What a waste, what a waste

“I’m not jealous”
Yet you envy
“I’m not boastful”
Yet you gloat
“I’m not rude”
“I’m not selfish”
Yet that’s not what you promote

Talk of calmness
Talk of peace
Walk in anger
Walk in rage
Talk forgiveness
Yet not cease
Holding grudges
Old with age

“I hate unrighteousness”
You say
Yet applaud it
“I hate lies”
Yet devise
Sneaky schemes
And foul play

“I’ll stick it through with you”
“Believe in you”
“And hope the best”
Yet in the time of trouble
This was not at all expressed

So love me not with words
For words shall not prevail
Love me in deed and truth
For true love shall not fail

In response to the two Greatest Commandments—loving God and loving people (Mark 12:28-31), can you think of any greater way to demonstrate that love than through the proclamation of the gospel?  While many of us readily declare our love for the Lord and our neighbor, how often do we show it by caring enough to share the gospel?

Let us, by God’s grace, determine to begin demonstrating our love in deed and in truth.