Recently, this observation registered on my consciousness:
When someone loves you,
They don’t have to say it;
You can tell by the way they treat you.
Actions speak louder than words.
Accepting that LOVE is an action verb, what exactly are we to be doing?
Gifts galore with no end in sight,
How mighty we’ve become
To think affection we can buy.
Harm is caused to those we slight,
Because they simply desire a welcome,
A pleasant greeting and a “Hi!”
Stuff is an accumulation of an ending never.
Kindness is an opportunity of a beginning forever.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.
I can read that paragraph over and over, again and again. What I see is: all action — and, no stuff.
At this time of year, many are adamant in declaring, “Christ is the reason for the season.”
OK. Let’s take a look at what He has to say.
So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
Again, what I see is: the action to reconcile — then, the stuff of sacrifice.
For the pack-rats among us, there is a subtlety worthy of note. The stuff is temporarily ours — right up to the moment, we offer it in sacrifice.
For the recipients (who might be the individuals of our family and friends — or, our heavenly Father) of these sacrificial gifts, what is more important: action, or stuff?
The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.
Oh, how the chorus continues: Thank you for the stuff. Please, do what is right.
For the modernists among us, there is a Right and Wrong. In fact, there are very few Maybes. Yes and No are as definitive as Left and Right.
This is Right.
You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
Now, that’s a definition of Tough Love.