Practicing True Love Every Day
TO PRACTICE true love every day we must first of all take in knowledge of Jehovah God.* Why so? Because “God is love.” That means that he is the perfect expression of unselfishness. Love is the motive that caused him to create us in the beginning and it was love that caused him to surrender the dearest treasure of his heart for us: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son.” As for what love really is, it is easier to tell how it works than to define it.—1 John 4:8; John 3:16, NW.
God gave Adam and Eve the gift or capacity of love in the first place, but, due to selfishness, they stunted it and so since then “the inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up.” To help us to practice true love every day God has given us his book that teaches love and is pervaded with it. In view of all that God has done for us it certainly is fitting that he should command us to love him and also to love our neighbor. In practicing love, however, we must be careful that our love is genuine, sincere, not hypocritical: “Let your love be without hypocrisy.” Hypocrisy makes us nothing, not something.—Gen. 8:21; Rom. 12:9, NW.
We practice true love when we “sustain with words him that is weary.” Yes, “a word in due season, how good is it!” We also practice true love when we make “public declaration of our hope,” when we gather to “consider one another to incite to love and right works.” And when we preach the good news of the Kingdom from house to house, on the streets, in the homes and whenever an opportunity presents itself. There are times when practicing true love means heeding the counsel: “Better is open rebuke than love that is hidden.” But, of course, with kindness and tact, not bluntly or caustically.—Isa. 50:4; Prov. 15:23, AS; Heb. 10:23-25, NW; Prov. 27:5, AS.
True love, however, does not limit itself to mere words but loves “in deed and truth.” For, just as “faith, if it does not have works, is dead in itself,” so also love without works is dead. “Whoever has this world’s means for supporting life and beholds his brother having need and yet shuts the door of his tender compassions upon him, in what way does the love of God remain in him?”—Jas. 2:17; 1 John 3:17, 18, NW.
Further, practicing true love every day means assisting those who are ministering to our material needs so that they can have more time for Kingdom interests. It means putting up with the weaknesses of our brothers, patiently bearing with them and aiding them to attain maturity. It means not only attending congregation meetings but being punctual, at the same time by friendly greetings making others feel welcome and loved. It also means being alert to train others each time we go forth to preach. And we practice true love when we refuse to “keep account of the injury,” and when we can say regarding reproofs: “Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be as oil upon the head.”—1 Cor. 13:5, NW; Ps. 141:5, AS.
Armageddon will not miraculously change unloving dispositions, but will wipe them out. Only true love and those who practice it will survive that battle. By practicing true love every day we shall find New World associations to be as refreshing as the dew of Mount Hermon that nightly revived Palestine’s parched vegetation during its long dry season.—Ps. 133:1-3.
For details see The Watchtower, September 15, 1954.