Facets of love: truth

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” – 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV)

I remember when I was young deciding that life really came down to two things: truth and love. I saw love that was untrue. And so it drove me to reason that without truth, love cannot really exist.

There is an interesting side note to this passage. The Greek word for “rejoices with” is perhaps more accurately translated “rejoices together with” and includes a connotation of taking part in another’s joy. Truth must be present in love.

That seems to be common sense. Well, it should be. So what exactly constitutes truth in the sense of love? 1 John 3:18 gives us the answer: “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”. Truth and action, when pertaining to love, are inseparable. Love that is not seen physically is neither known nor felt.

Love is written in moments and not words or thoughts. Maybe that is surprising to hear from a hopeful writer and English major. But I ask you to think of the people you hold most dear in life. Now, can you think of even one with whom you do not regularly spend time or have not regularly spent time? I doubt it. Love, excepting godly love, grows as we share our life with another. If we do not, we grow apart.

Love that exists only within words is exactly the same in nature as them: an abstraction. There is no palpable love to be found. It is like a cloud of smoke that appears to be a heart, evanescing when it is tried to be grabbed. But then that is how much love, particularly friendship, ends. At the risk of evoking Katy Perry, false love lives like a firework. It begins with a bang and flash of light, hovers as smoke, then fades to empty air.

Speak words of love, think on it, but don’t let that be all. Let your words be found true through action. Let your thoughts move you to spend time with those you love. I guess it isn’t altogether different from the writer’s creed: show, don’t [just] tell.


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