You Will Know Them By Their Love

It is unfortunate that in English common usage we only have one word–love–that expresses such a wide variety of actions and emotions.

Some people think of love as a squishy, sentimental sort of emotion. That dreamy state of thinking of a person constantly.

Another definition is of an emotional high. Greetings include hugging and lots of smiles. When Jesus said that you will know his followers by their love, these people think we should always be happy and hugging and feeling good toward others.

Then there’s the “act” of making love. Surely a weird euphemism if ever there was one. I’ll let that one slide by.

When you look closely at the New Testament, you discover that love is not an emotion. In fact, much of the teaching of the New Testament concerns overcoming emotions with growing maturity. We take charge of our emotions, not the other way around.

Love is something you do. You may not always feel it. Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing something good for another, but you do. That’s one think Jesus meant.

Love means considering others when we’re about to act or respond. We may do good, even when the other person may not recognize it–as in interventions attempting to stop destructive behaviors.

Even in tough business decisions when you might have to terminate the employment of an associate, you can still do it in a considerate manner. You can be tough and still love. Once again, look at Jesus. Nothing sentimental in him.

Sometimes you don’t know when you’ll be in a situation to act in love rather than hate or anger. I received an alert this morning at 4:30 that my 6:00 am flight was delayed 4 hours. Well, I’m driving. Too late to do much. Saw a long line at the ticket counter. Thought I’d go to the gate and see if I could get the other early flight. I could, but the connection available still got me to my destination too late to do any good.

So, I waited for a clearing in the line to get a cancellation at no charge and then go home. While I’m waiting, I hear an older woman cursing the gate agent with some of the most vulgar words. Couldn’t believe my ears.

Well, the woman gave up. The gate agent, who was quite patient with her, began serving another customer. I walked over and started a conversation. Thought I might as well try to calm her down and explain that when there’s bad weather in the country, the effects are wide ranging.

My little act of love for the day. At 6:30. Where can the day go but up from now?

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