“Little children, let us love, not in words or speech, but in truth and action.”
— 1 John 3:18 (NRSV)
What we say and what we do matter in the overall scheme of life,
For when loving action abides in truth we’re suddenly free of strife.
Experiencing peace and joy throughout our day to day,
Is made achievable by what we do and not just what we say.
And whilst words may sound eloquent, encroaching on the divine,
We really ought to be counselled, within love’s action to align.
Hypocrisy, we know, draws neither admiration nor respect,
All that it is good for is a harrowing legacy of neglect.
We may say our word’s as good as a bond,
But anything short of action is only to abscond.
When we go out to life, prepared to move in love,
Our action speaks volumes, a power from above.
Love Not Just for Love’s Sake, but for Truth’s Also
How do we demonstrate our love if not for the layers of action implicit in our behaviour? Our attitudes only go so far in proving same. Indeed, if we were to speak of our love, yet not back it up by our actions, we would be liars. Truth matters in matters of love.
Love and truth interact within action such that love has veracity (truth) when it acts.
The writer of First John knew how important it is that love is aligned in truth in ways to produce works demonstrating such love. In a very black-and-white book, First John is deeply contrastive, and in this, we can contrast love with hypocrisy just like we can contrast truth with lies and living faith with dead faith.
So Our Hearts Would Not Condemn Us
One of the main ideas enshrouded in the works of love is this: when our love holds to the truth, by producing discernible action, our hearts do not condemn us.
This is important because, if our consciences sit uneasily between what we say and what we do our inner being cannot help feeling condemned.
As a result, we will experience many psychosomatic symptoms of unconscious anxiety. What this is really saying is, at a soul level, we are not comfortable with ourselves—we feel guilty or ashamed.
We do not want our hearts to condemn us. It is better to take the courage needed and convert what we say we will do into action, as well as acting on the actions we feel the Spirit of God is pushing us toward.
When we say we belong to love we need to produce works in keeping with love. What we say needs to align with what we do. When we hold to such truth, boldness is ours, and so, too, the freedom from self-condemnation.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.