BY REV. DORAL PULLEY
“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It is greater than any spiritual gift. It is better than any church office, earthly position or secular title. Love is our badge of discipleship. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if ye have love one for another (John 13:35).” Love is more than just a feeling or an emotion. Love is an action. Love is more than just saying the words, “I love you.” Real love is demonstrated through our actions.
Everything that God requires of us can be condensed to one word, love. Love is the only law and it is the fulfillment of every principle (Romans 13:8-10). This truth was the inspiration behind one of my most popular books “Love God. Love Yourself. Love Everyone Else. It’s Just That Simple.”
We demonstrate our love for God through the actions of the seven spiritual disciplines: thanksgiving, praise and worship; prayer and meditation; fasting and forgiving; stewardship of our time, talent and treasure; reading, studying and researching the scriptures; interacting and fellowshiping with positive people as well as witnessing and sharing our testimonies with others.
No matter how much we claim to love God, our spiritual disciplines tell the true story. We demonstrate our love for ourselves through the actions of self-care: eating right, exercising, getting our proper rest, going to the doctors for physical and emotional check-ups, having good hygiene, looking our best, relaxing, treating ourselves to the things that we desire and by maintaining close relationships.
No matter how much we state that we love ourselves, our self-care is the real proof. Anything or anyone whom we love, we take good care of. We demonstrate our love for others through the actions of treating all people with the same love and respect that we desire regardless of who they are or what they have done, and by helping those who are in need.
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Unity Temple of Truth Church, 511 Prescott St. S, St. Petersburg.