Love, if it is real, must express itself in action. If I really love God, than I will do something about it. If I love another, somehow I will want to express that love. To say I love someone, yet to not help them in their need, the apostle John tells us, is to neither love them, or the God we profess to love.
In the community of Jesus, love must be expressed in a good number of ways. We are already on our way to conformity to the Lord. But we haven't arrived. There will always be the need to forgive each other. And to reach out, in love, in some kind of imaginative way, at times, to break down walls. And to really be in the same room, so to speak, in spite of our remaining differences.
To express our love for each other may often require remaining silent. "There is a time to be still and a time to be speak" (Ecclesiastes). When we do speak, we'll do so in love. Seeking truth. But in a posture of wanting to do so together.
This subject is keen on my mind, because I work at a Christian ministry and on a team in factory work there, among some who have a very strong political opinion that I do not share. We all want God's righteousness to prevail. But our theologies and understanding of Scripture differ. What to do?
Reach out in love. Seek to grow together. Learn to be able to discuss differences. And in doing so, really hear the other person out. Be open to change. In these kind of discussions there should be growth on both sides. Both intellectually, and in regard to wisdom. And especially in the dynamic of our life together in Christ. That we are being lifted up by grace into conformity to him, and in this same process, being brought to increasing fellowship with each other.
One other thing I must add. Love will forgive. Whatever grievances one has towards another in the community of Jesus. We're to forgive, just as God in Christ forgave us. And to put over that, and everything else, this love, we're talking about here. (Paul) This is so necessary. I've found that no matter what I do, there may be that certain someone who doesn't like you, and is more than willing to express that. We have to consider where they're coming from, what they believe, and where they're going. When we see the grace of God in their lives, we know it's just a matter of time before there will be complete reconciliation between us. In the love of God.
What activities do we do at home, at work, as church, in our neighborhoods, and in other places- as acts of love? When we might confront someone, do we do it gently, and out of this love? And are we open to being corrected?