Love Is Something You Do

“Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” (1 John 3:18 NLT)

Love is more than attraction and more than arousal. It’s also more than sentimentality, like so many of today’s songs suggest. By this standard, is love dead when the emotion is gone? No, not at all. Because love is an action; love is a behavior.

Over and over again in the Bible, God commands us to love each other. And you can’t command an emotion. If I told you, “Be sad!” you couldn’t be sad on cue. Just like an actor, you can fake it, but you’re not wired for your emotions to change on command. Have you ever told a little kid, “Be happy!” “I’m trying, daddy!”

If love were just an emotion, then God couldn’t command it. But love is something you do. It can produce emotion, but love is an action.

The Bible says, “Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions” (1 John 3:18b NLT). We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Do you really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.

Talk About It

  • If someone asked your friends what you really love, how do you think they would respond?
  • How do your actions reveal how you love people?

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of, a global Internet community for pastors.

This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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