My Bible reading this week is taking me through I John. Last night I was reading chapter 3 and these words in the middle of the chapter were the ones that jumped out at me.

16 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 and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

As I read these words, I was thinking about my kids and the many discussions that we have had (and will continue to have) about what it means to love your neighbor (Matthew 22:39).

John says that we need to show love with actions and in truth rather than with words or speech.

Sounds a bit like the saying, “actions speak louder than words” doesn’t it?

If you tell your children every day that you love them, but all you do is berate them, yell at them, ignore them, never offer discipline or instruction, your actions are speaking louder than your words.

If you tell your spouse before bed each night that you love them, but you never speak to them kindly, never listen to their hearts, never choose to spend time with them, your actions are speaking louder than your words.

If you say that you love the poor, orphan, and widow the way that God has commanded, but you aren’t doing anything to help their plight, your actions are speaking louder than your words.

In other words, unless we are doing something active to show love, even to the point of laying down our lives for one another, we can talk all we want but our lack of action is still going to be louder than our words.

How are you showing love in action today?