Actions And Words
“My little children let us not love in word or tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Do you know what's better than words? Action. Action always beats words. Action always beats intentions. “What you've done is always more powerful that what you're going to do" (Jon Acuff). Words are important. Words must be spoken. It is good to express love with words, but better is to demonstrate it by our actions.
In the immediate text, the action has to do with laying down my life. Also, by how I respond to my brother who is in need. I can love the Lord and I can love my brother all day long, but eventually I am going to have to act. The love of God in me must be demonstrated.
What do my actions say when I am asked to give some of myself? Money is easy to give; it is giving of self that is costly. Turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, giving up my coat, those affect me. Those inconvenience me. I may not want to. I want my time and my space. I want to be left alone. I talk the talk all day long, but it is when I act that real love is seen.
What do my actions say when I am required to pray for someone who has hurt me deeply? When I am asked to speak well of them? When I must do them good? (Matt. 5: 44). It is then I must be like the Father (Matt. 5:45). He not only told us He loves us, but He shows it. He shows it to everyone. Even those who are His enemies. He causes the sun to shine and rain to fall on them. He provides what they need.
What if my actions are not noticed? I do good to them. I pray for them and I try hard to speak well of them. I give of myself at every opportunity. I always try to go the extra mile. What if nobody notices? Here is what is important: God does! (Heb. 6:10). My faith will be seen by my actions (Jas. 2:18). It is then my true intensions are revealed.
What if I am asked to forgive and do not want to? This is a hard one. We talk about forgiveness. We know it is a must (Matt. 6:14-15). It is the ultimate cost. Sacrifice is required. It is when intentions are truly seen. Words are empty absent action. This is when I am most like the Father. His love was proven by action and measured by sacrifice. It is not easy when I have been hurt, but it is when I forgive, that is, release myself from the prison of pain, bitterness, anger, and poison. I send it away to depth of the sea.
Actions are harder than words. Words with action are more valuable.