How to Give Real Love


In the post How We Know What Love Is, it was submitted that we know real or true love by Christ’s example. He laid down His life for man. John offers an exhortation – “And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” John was reiterating Jesus’ mandate on how to love – be willing to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. Now in today’s verses, John is offering us practical steps on one’s willingness to lay down one’s life for his brothers and sisters. John is telling us How to Give Real Love.

1 John 3:16-18

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

How to Give Real Love is illustrated in verses 17 and 18. Real love is abounding or bursting with action. Truth be told, it is a misnomer to say how to give real love. Real love, by definition, is action. Let’s look at the example John gives.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

Love requires action that is requisite of self-sacrifice. Love says, “I am going to do something for you at my expense.” In the example above, John identifies a real-life situation. A fellow follower of Christ is in need. He has a material or financial need. John says that if you have the means to meet the need, in part or in full, but has no pity or compassion on him how could the love of God be in you. Having the love of God means that you will have compassion/pity to address a need. Matthew tells us that “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” As defined by Jesus’ and his followers, love i.e. compassion requires action.

This is that John demonstrated in the example in verse 17. To further cement the truth about How to Give Real Love, John says in verse 18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” We all expect that. Don’t tell me you love me without showing me you love me. Love, even in our own sinful ways, requires us to do something. John says pure love requires action and truth. The truth of taking action solely for the sake of the other person out of reverence for Christ is the truth. Many times, our actions can be polluted. They seem like the right thing, but our motives are wrong.

Remember Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5? They were the couple who wanted to look like they sold their property to give to the disciples. Their hearts were full of pride and deception. They wanted the praise from giving to the cause of Christ, but they did not give the full amount from the sale of their property. They were judged and lost their lives for it. While our consequences for having wrong motives are probably not that extreme, the message is that God judges the attitude and thoughts of man. We need to love in truth. That’s How to Give Real Love. James ties our faith to our deeds to further strengthen How to Give Real Love.

Where are you? Now that you know How to Give Real Love, are you willing to give what you have or a part of what you have to meet the need of a brother or sister? Look around. Ask God who has a need around you; then, give sacrificially to help meet that need of that brother or sister.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: