“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.” (1 Cor. 13: 4-8 NIV)
In John 11:35, Jesus said that the defining characteristic of his followers should be our love for one another. People can only see that love in us through our actions. That old adage that actions speak louder than words should be especially true of us, considering who we are representing- the God who is love. 1 John 3:18 (ESV) tells us, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
And yet, sadly, too often our actions (starting with me) look more aligned with those outside the faith rather than the standards so well articulated by Paul in those opening words from 1 Corinthians 13. Perhaps the answer as to why the church seems to be waning in its influence on the world might be found in that observation.
“If we have got the true love of God shed abroad in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do.” – Dwight L. Moody