A homeless man is sitting in an inner city doorway, sheltered from wintery wind. Two people approach and the first says, “I love you man. Stay strong. I will pray that things get better for you.” The second person approaches says, “You look like a total waste of humanity, how could anyone love you? Get up from there and come with me. There’s a thrift store around the corner, let’s get you some clean clothes. And there’s a truck stop a few blocks from here where you can shower and clean up. Then we’ll get you fed and I’ll give you a few bucks. From there on it’s up to you.”
I have friends and relatives who are proud to say that they never part company with one another without affirming, “I love you.”
Some are relatively well off while others are struggling with day to day living. After the parting of ways those who are well off are still well off while those struggling are still struggling. But the words of love have been duly exchanged.
In the Bible (KJV) Matthew 7:20 contains these words, “wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” In my opinion the passive words “I love you” might sow the seeds but they harvest no fruit.
Would it not be better if, when relating to people who rank high enough in our esteem to rate an “I love you,” we take the extra time to ask what if anything they need and how we might be able to assist them in addressing any problems they might have.
Yes, that approach might cost more in time, energy and even money but wouldn’t it be worth it to convert those passive “I love yous” into active ones? To actually made a difference when someone you care about is in need?
Sometimes those words and a hug or pat on the back are all that is needed but we’ll never know unless we reach out beyond the words.
Thanks for the time you have invested in reading this, you are appreciated.
Beautifully written and so true as Jesus illustrated over and over with word, parable, and deed…By the way…we love you! And I owe you some cake.
A love that you demonstrate in thought and deed and which is returned to you. No one could ask for better friends and neighbors. We love you.
You don’t know how much I like this post. If people put a bit of action behind the words of love that they pour on others, we would have far less indigent people in our midst.
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Thank you, Jacque. As I have mentioned before, one of the first lessons my mother taught me was that words mean things. “Always be sure to use only the words that mean what you want to say,” was what I heard so many times as a kid. I am not a great fan of definition creep. “Gay” once meant happy, carefree. “Decimate” meant to kill one of every ten. I read a recent article in the Houston chronicle that said, “the burglar kicked open the door and decimated the apartment.” (?) And don’t get me started on “begs the question.” That used to exclusively mean to carry on a false argument where one assumes as true the point being debated in order to prove that very point. The phrase no longer has a specific meaning. And now we find “love” joining that phalanx of meaningless words and phrases.