Can we say we have the love of Christ and not show it with our actions?
For the past year, I have been involved in reaching out to the Bangladeshi workers in Singapore. A group of us have been focusing on 10 construction workers and HDB estate cleaners and have committed ourselves to spending public holidays with them and having dinner with at least one of them each week. They share their problems with us, sometimes regarding their employers who treat them badly, other times because they’ve suffered an injury at work.
We listen, affirm that what is going on is not right, then refer them to lawyers and doctors who give pro-bono consultation services to migrant workers in Singapore. We have grown to become their friends in this foreign land, and we even visited some of their families in Bangladesh last year. When they found out that we are Christians, I was shocked that many asked for Bibles while some actually received Christ into their lives!
Through befriending them, I have learnt what it means to love not just in word, but in deed.
Love In Deeds
It may be confusing when we read 1 John 3:18–“Dear children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." Does the Apostle John imply that loving others with our deeds is more important than what we speak? In the previous verse, John says, “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” What he is suggesting here is that if we do not love in deeds, then that is possibly not love at all.
James 2:15-16 also says, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, if one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm and well fed' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?” What God is teaching us through these verses is that we cannot say we love others, and yet are unwilling to make sacrifices to demonstrate that love. That is what John means by loving not with word or tongue but in deed and truth, allowing our actions to validate what we profess.
To read the full article, get a copy of Issue 12 here.