We show love most excellently with our presence, with our words and with our sacrifice.
Loving others means we show up. We are present in their lives, supporting their efforts, cheering their wins, lamenting their defeats, holding their hand when they are mourning and turning up at their party when they celebrate. This is called the ministry of presence. Jesus, himself, said it so well; “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.”
Our ability to use words is a gift of great mystery, given to us by God. It is with words that God created the heavens and the earth. It is with words that he blessed creation and pronounced it good. It is words, in the form of the Bible, that nourish us and grow us. It is words that God has given to us to bless one another. People are tender and they bruise easily, which is why God says that love is kind. Harsh words are cruel weapons in the enemy’s hands and are the exact opposite of the kindness of love. We are made in the image of God and, like his, our words can nourish others and help grow them. Jesus himself helps us understand the power of our words. “But I tell you that men will give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by words you will be acquitted and by words you will be condemned.”
The very nature of love includes sacrifice. Loving others well requires times when we lay down ofourown wants and needs. Ask any parent! Love is a doing word not a feeling word. Love does for others. It gives up its own selfish desires for the good of another. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
At Orchard: Africa, we value these three things most dearly –our presence, our words and our sacrifice. Daily, these are offered to those we serve. In this, we imitate God, who has done all three for us.
May we think on these things!