18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
~ 1Jn 3:18
Love is such an important topic that Jesus said the world would know we are His disciples because of our love for one another (Jn 13:35). While I’ve been arguing in favor of redefining love to include emotional attachment, the fact remains that the Bible speaks about things like faith and love in terms of action.
The Bible never defines love. In fact, the Bible does not define a lot of things. Instead, the Bible shows us examples of what is and is not love. Words are cheap, but actions show the man or woman for who they are.
How can others know that we love unless we somehow show it? It is stressed that we are to be doers of the word and not just hearers only (Ro 2:13; Jas 1:22; et al).
Faith is something that is internal. Faith is invisible. Therefore, we can only show our faith by actions (Jas 2:18). Love is the same way. It is internal and not visible to other humans unless we choose to act upon it.
God is a God of action. We are to become like Him. Faith without works is dead. Love without works is dead also.
God is love (1Jn 4:8). Therefore, it would behoove us to follow His example. How do we know God loves us?
8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us
~ Ro 5:8 (HSCB)
Think about what that means! Can any of us raise our hand in response to the question of can we show godly love?
God did not wait for us. Christ freely gave His life for us, even though it was known that His sacrifice would be rejected not only by humanity at large but by His own people!
12 He also said to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, your brothers, your relatives, or your rich neighbors, because they might invite you back, and you would be repaid. 13 On the contrary, when you host a banquet, invite those who are poor, maimed, lame, or blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
~ Lk 14:12-14 (HCSB)
We are to follow Christ’s example by doing to others, and especially to those who cannot or will not repay. It does not matter how grateful or not they are. It does not matter what they can or cannot do for you. It is simply unselfish giving.
Or, as the KJV puts it, “charity”.
Or, as I like say, unselfish outgoing concern and caring for others. Concern because it is an emotion, and caring because it is an action.