Hi everyone. Rob here.
Last night my wife Kiley rescued 2 abandoned kittens who had been left in a box on the side of the road. This speaks volumes for her generous mothering heart and her determination to turn our place into the local zoo! It would have been very easy for her to keep driving, to think that it wasn’t her problem and to harden her heart to the ensuing guilt. But she took action! She responded to the compassion she felt with kind actions. Life is now even more busy and complicated, but her integrity is intact and her heart is whole.
Integrity is when our actions are in line with the truth we hold in our hearts. Our hearts are we hold our deepest convictions, but wholehearted living comes when those convictions make it to our minds and our bodies. This is the work that the Spirit of God does for us as we offer our hearts to him. Jesus’ brother James put it this way:
…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:17).
The apostle John wrote in a similar way:
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).
I enjoy words. Much of my work is based around crafting words to be read or spoken. Words are powerful and can penetrate the heart. They can be offered as an act of love and rightly so. But if words are all I have and all I offer I will not be communicating the love that comes from God. God’s love came to us this way:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Loving actions are often simple, but they are timely, sincere, selfless and speak to the heart of the other. I could fold the washing while pointing out how sacrificial and kind I’m being, but that wouldn’t be a selfless act. I could repaint the lounge but in an already busy week that wouldn’t be timely. I could go shopping with my beloved and pretend to love it but that wouldn’t be sincere. As Paul said about Christ’s love:
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6).
If we are to love others well we need God’s love to fill us. We need to love with his love so that we may have his selflessness, timing, sincerity and wholehearted integrity. God is inviting me on a journey to love well in 2017. I hope that you’ll join me.
Grace and peace.