We are all told to love our neighbors, but what are the actions of love? What does love do? Is love all about walking up to people, hugging them, then telling them that you love them? No. Today I will be talking about the actions of love (although I will try to stray away from 1 Corinthians 13 since I've already done numerous articles on the actions of love that passage illustrates)
One of the things that love does is it increases. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 says, "and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all as we do for you," If we have a pure love, then it will not decrease over time but increase. That's the thing about relationships; too often do people start out in what they think is love, but that love only decreases. That's not true love. And I'm not saying that all relationships HAVE to continue and once you like someone you can never not like that person, but just because you don't love someone in a relationship kind of way, that doesn't mean that you can't still love them. Our love should only increase throughout our lives, and we should always pray for our love to increase.
The second action of love is comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:4 talking about God, says "who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." A lot of times I will go through something and it's hard at the time, but then a few months later a friend of mine will be going through that very thing and it makes it much easier to help them knowing that I know exactly what to say. It also helps me to be patient with them because I understand exactly where they're coming from. Yes sometimes life stinks but if we let our hard times go towards helping those who we love, then it's much better than going through those difficult times without giving them a purpose.
Thirdly, love prays. Matthew 5:44 says "But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This isn't saying to pray that you hate someone less, although that is important, but we also have to pray for their souls. Our enemies should be our enemies because they have sinned against God in sinning against us, otherwise it's anger without reason which according to Matthew 5:22 anyone who is, is in danger of hell fire. When we pray for our enemies, we should pray for three things: That we be less angry with them if we are, that God be with them and help them to see their wrongdoings and change, and to always look for the good in them because that is the fourth thing I will be talking about.
The fourth thing and last that I will be talking about right now is that love looks. Love looks for the best in others, and nothing else. Love does not talk about others imperfections but those things about them that are good. Ephesians 4:29 tells us to let no corrupt talk come out of your mouth, but "only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion, that it may give the gift of grace to all who hear." We not only have to see the good things in other, but also talk about the good thing about others. In order to speak only good about others, we first have to see it.
Obviously there are more actions of love that I couldn't get to in this article, but I would like to encourage you to study this. There is so much about love that I cannot even begin to scrape the surface of this incredibly amazing subject. There is so much about love that I couldn't possibly form into words the love that God has shown for us. I'd like to encourage you all to study this on your own and to teach as many people as you can in this small number of days that we are given.