1 John 3:18 "Don't Be All Talk" (Belt of Truth - Week 4)

1 John 3:18 "Don't Be All Talk" (Belt of Truth - Week 4)

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (ESV) 

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (NIV) 

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (NLT) 

Dive Deeper:

The Disconnect

We are all searching for love in this world. From the age of 6 months, when a baby begins to realize they aren’t attached to their mother anymore, they look for signs that they are loved. The problem is as we get older, we realize the broken world we live in has far too many opportunities to experience the absence of love. People's words may point us to believe they love us, but their actions may tell another story. And this is where we experience a disconnect between what we know our hearts were made for and what we actually experience. However, we aren’t without fault either. We can often speak kindly but be slow to show our love in how we sacrifice for others. 

Real Love

Jesus points us to a higher form of love. Agape is a Greek word that refers to a selfless, unconditional love that endures and persists regardless of circumstances. It is not simply based on a feeling or an emotion; rather, it is a choice. It’s a joyful resolve to lay aside your motives and put the good of others above your own. It’s a willful delight. It’s unconditional love that is not contingent upon the qualities or actions of the receiver. This definition fills me with great joy as I reflect on God's choice to delight in us. Real love is not a matter of us loving God, but rather Him first loving us. Therefore, the greatest agape is the cross of Jesus Christ. Real love is the Gospel of Jesus, so radically sacrificial and life-changing that it leaves us in awe–an awe so profound that we begin to live the same love.

The Invitation

So, the invitation is to grow into a person of love, defined by Jesus. It’s to find opportunities in the people around you to die to yourself sacrificially and put others first. By sacrificing and loving others, the truth is clarified for them. The gospel is true and can stand on its own. However, it’s often revealed to the world through the people of God embodying agape love. Don’t settle for your love to be expressed with just words. That is crucial, but don’t stop there. Show truth with your love in action.

“Are we becoming more loving? Not–Are we becoming more biblically educated? Or practicing more spiritual disciplines? Or more involved in church? Those are all good things, but not the most important thing.” -John Mark Comer

Written by Ben Hesch


Open your calendar and write the name of someone you want to love in action for each day of the next week. Feel free to repeat names.


  • Dawn W on

    I am finding my words need a little more love to them, too. The attitude behind my actions needs a good check as well.

  • Susan Lawing on

    This is 100% confirmation of what Holy Spirit has been bringing to my attention.

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