So many Christians, it seems to me, seem to subscribe to their beliefs only in theory. It seems there is not a great tradition, these days, of showing love in everyday life. I’m not talking about organised church bodies, a great many of which do a lot of of good and loving work in and around their local communities. I am talking about each individual believer. So why should this be the case? It could have something to do with our society’s preoccupation with what is or isn’t considered appropriate. People often aren’t sure if it’s really ok to intervene if they think someone might need help. Or, it could just as easily be that people don’t feel qualified to step forward. Perhaps they feel they can’t step forward because they are not a minister or a deacon, a medic or a policeman. Or perhaps they just feel guilty. It is hard to love yourself if you are full of guilt about how often you fail to live up to your own christian values. When guilt is blocking love of oneself, it is impossible to act in love towards each other.
1 John 3:18-24 NLT
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
Dear Lord and Father, I have failed so very often to show your love to those around me, as you have commanded us. Forgive me Lord, I have meant to, and I have wanted to, but I have not. Take away my guilt again Father, so that I might be free to offer your love to those who need it. I ask you to remind me of your love today, whenever there is an opportunity to show your love to someone who needs it, and I ask you to prompt me when I might be too busy to notice someone else in need. Father, remind me to act in love in all situations at all times. I ask these things in the powerful name of Jesus, and I thank you for his overwhelming example of love. Amen.
Daniel 11:2-35, 1 John 3:7-24, Psalms 122: 1-9, Proverbs 29:1