The Bible Says Love Is An Action

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 John 3:18 NLT)

If you really love someone, then you show it by how you act toward that person.

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, and 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 right now, “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.

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’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions” (1 John 3:18 NLT). We can talk a good act: “I love people.” But do we really love them? Our love is revealed in how we act toward them.

How will you reveal to others that you love them this season? Be specific. Think about each member of your family. How can you show your love to _____?


Watch a short video sample from Pastor Rick on the importance of love. Saddleback Resources offers 40 Days of Love, a six-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that searches the Scripture for what love is, the characteristics of love, and how our relationships can be transformed by love.

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 founder of, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren. 

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