Blooming rose in the Rose Garden at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Loving without doing

Can you follow Christ and sit at the same time? And I don’t mean rest because many times Christ-followers will work themselves to death, and I firmly believe we should rest before we get to that point. But how closely related is action to our Christian walk?

Many times, I think people accept Christ because they want to avoid going to hell. And don’t get me wrong. That’s a great reason to accept Christ. But it’s not the only reason. Being able to spend eternity in heaven with God after we die is certainly a huge selling point of Christianity, but for me there are more important reasons that have to deal with our daily life. Eternity is the end reward. Do we even realize that following Christ offers awesome blessings every day?

But you won’t get the opportunity to be blessed if you sit back and do your own thing all the time.

Blooming rose in the Rose Garden at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Blooming rose in the Rose Garden at Glen Eyrie, Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verse is 1 John 3:18.

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

Love is a human experience that shouldn’t be passive. I won’t say passive love isn’t real, but sometimes I wonder. If you love someone, you want to do things for them, you want to show them how much you love them. Maybe that’s just me.

I don’t need people to prove their love for me personally, but when it comes to expressing my love for other people, I love to serve. I love to help. I love to do things for them as evidence to them that I love them.

Even if you aren’t one of those crazy servant-hearted people who run themselves into the ground in the name of Christ, you still do things for people you love. You don’t just sit back and refuse to interact with people you love. You don’t sit back and watch them struggle without doing something to help. Even if all you can do is pray for them, you still do something.

If you tell someone you love them, are you willing to back it up with actions?

The difficulty comes when we realize just how difficult love can be. Love hurts. You always take a risk when you love, no matter what kind of love it is. if it’s friendship-love or family-love or romantic-love, it doesn’t matter. Love makes you vulnerable. Love opens the door to your heart and decorates it in bright neon signs, which makes it ever so much easier to find and break.

It’s so much easier to tell someone you love them and then invent a clever reason why you can’t help them when they ask. It’s so much easier to tell someone you love them and then keep yourself so busy you don’t have time to invest in their lives.

Love isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Because when you love as a Christ-follower, God’s love shows through you. And God’s love changes people. God’s love changes you inside, and it changes the people around you too.

The more you love like God loves, the more you start to see like Him. You see people like God sees them. You see the world like God sees it. And it’s really really hard to hate people when you’re looking at them through God’s love.

And how does this amount to blessings? Well, have you tried it?

I’m the most blessed person in the world. I really believe that. I try not to think about it too much because I’ll just turn into a crying wreck of sloppy gratitude and dumbstruck awe that God would give me so much to be thankful for. But years ago, I didn’t believe that. Years ago, I didn’t see the blessing. I just saw people and problems and the never-ending struggle to survive from day to day, but the more I’ve learned and the more I’ve gotten to know God, the more I understand what He’s done for me personally. And that alone is enough to help me see that I’m already blessed.

But more than already blessed, I’m already loved. God loves me so much, I can’t help but love other people too. Yeah, it’s messy and exhausting and emotionally draining at times, but what can compare to watching someone else experience God’s love through you?