Actions speak louder than words.
That is true of anyone who is truly a child of God. We saw that in James, and we see that here as well.
Jesus’ actions spoke volumes.
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. (16)
In other words, true love is fiercely practical. Jesus showed his love by dying on a cross for us. In the same way, we are to show love for others by laying down our lives for them.
In case we missed the point, John goes on, saying,
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (17-18)
In short, true love does not stand still. When it sees others in need, it has compassion and reaches out.
And that should be the mark of any child of God. Not just words of love. But deeds of love.
If we can see those who are hurting around us and have no compassion at all, if instead we think solely of ourselves, how can we say that we are God’s children? Especially in the light of the love we have received from him.
How about you? Does love mark your life? Do you have compassion for those who are hurting around you? Or do you not even care?
Remember the words of Jesus,
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me….whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. (Matthew 25:40, 45)
What does the love you have for others say about you?