Sermonette: Forget Feelings: Love is an Action
It’s Valentine’s day! Let’s talk about feelings and love. Particularly let’s consider three things:
- Feelings are volatile
- Actions matter more than feelings
- Action is how we show love
Feelings can run deep or shallow. Feelings can last a lifetime. They can also change in an instant. Feelings are like the weather. They are often temporary, have significant extremes, and each season has its purpose.
Just as there are different types of feelings – there are also different types of love. There is love for our fellow human being, romantic love, and the type of love we have for our child.
There’s also love for hobbies, passions, and those activities which bring us to life. Lots of different types of feelings. Lots of different types of love. But there is one thing that stands solid in the midst of this diversity and variety: It’s Action.
Regardless of our feelings. Regardless of the type of love – the real question is: “How do we love?” or “How do we show love”?
Why do actions speak louder than words?
Why is priority placed on implementation and doing than sitting, thinking, and feeling?
Even Bruce Lee, the martial artist and philosopher is clear that thinking and feeling is not on the same level as actually getting things done. Doing matters. Getting things done matters. Action matters.
Actions matter more than words. Actions matter more than our feelings:
Would you appreciate someone more if you knew they hated you, but still treated you with unmatched kindness and generosity versus someone saying they love you, but every day taking action that didn’t look or feel the way love is supposed to. It could be hard to imagine this counter-intuitive situation, but millions of people experience it every day in domestic abuse, at work, and in relationships they have with relatives and friends. Your boss at work says they appreciate you and that you’re invaluable. They love your work results – but they don’t show this appreciation with a raise, work-life flexibility, or paid time off. Are they really sincere?
A parent tells their child that they love them, a parent FEELS love for their child – but doesn’t show up for graduation. Are absent when needed or kick them out of the house or rejects them when they just want to be they were born to be. Is that love?
What is LOVE? Love is action. When I was engaged, I considered doing pre-marital counseling with my fiancé. Both of my brothers had gone through it and I checked with them on if they though it was a good idea for me. Both said Yes. Do it. One of my brothers also told me that the most important thing he learned while in pre-marital counseling was that love is not a feeling. Love is an act. You may not always FEEL like it, but you DO it anyway, because you LOVE.
I was like – wow – that’s wisdom right there.
So love is action. What does this action look like? Let’s break it down. Let’s get specific. Love in Action is 3 things:
- Love in Action is Generous
- Love in Action is Compassionate
- Love in Action is Trusting
When love in action is generous, it looks like giving without the expectation of return. It looks like giving time, money, things. It looks like giving the other person their what they’re asking for.
When love in action is compassionate, it looks like honoring their feelings because they’re going through or experiencing matters even if you don’t understand it. Compassion is acceptances.
When love in action is Trusting, it looks like giving them a gift card instead of something specific because you trust them – for example you LOVE through TRUST when you permit a person in need who you’re giving to – to have the self determination to know and get what they need, not what you think they need. When love in action is trusting, that causes us to humble ourselves because to trust is to be vulnerable.
Amen; the Blessed Radiance thrives in each of us.