The importance of actively loving others

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:7

After he served as President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia. Jefferson trusted that students would take their studies seriously, so the code of discipline was very relaxed. Unfortunately, his trust was betrayed when the misbehavior of students led to a riot in which professors were attacked.

When the riots were over, a meeting was held between the university’s board, of which Jefferson was a member, and the student body. As tears filled his eyes, Jefferson said, “This is one of the most painful events of my life.” Another board member asked the rioters to come forward and give their names, and nearly everyone did.

Later, when asked why he gave himself up, one of the guilty students said, “It was not Mr. Jefferson’s words, but his tears.”

People often overestimate the power of their words and underestimate the impact of their actions. It’s one thing to tell someone you’re sorry for their situation, but it’s another to grieve with them. And volunteering to help someone who’s in need is much more effective than simply telling them you’ll pray!

Words speak little, but actions speak volumes. So just as Christ loved you by giving His life for you, put actions behind your words and show Christ’s love to others!

Prayer Challenge

Ask God to help you love others more intentionally by putting actions behind your words.

Questions for Thought

What does it mean to you when others love you through their actions, not just their words?

What specifically can you do today to love someone else actively?