Jimmy told the story about the first girl who caught his eye. He was seven years old, in 2nd grade, and her name was Sherri. She was the cutest girl he had ever seen with little pigtails, a beautiful dress with a big teddy bear on it, and the prettiest smile, even with a middle tooth missing. Best of all, she could jump off of the swing further than anyone.
One day Sherri passed down a note which read, “Do you love me?” Jimmy didn’t even know what love was, but he knew girls like being told these things, so he checked “yes” and passed it back. At recess, she ran up to him with a big smile on her face and said, “Say it.” “Say what?” Jimmy asked. “Say you love me,” Sherri replied. While it was a little embarrassing, he went ahead and said, “I love you.”
The next day Sherri came up to Jimmy and said, “Do you really love me?” “Yes,” he replied. Unconvinced, Sherri asked, “Do you mean it? Because a lot of boys tell me they love me, but some of them don’t mean it.” Jimmy went ahead reassured her that his love was true. The next day though, Sherri came back again, “If you love me and you mean it, then why don’t you show it?” Jimmy was now beginning to realize this “love” stuff was tricky. So, Jimmy decided to stop pulling her pigtails, spent the day with her at recess, sat with her at free time, and even gave her his special G.I. Joe eraser. From this point on, Jimmy learned some important lessons about love.
Today not all that much has changed. The words “I love you” are common and often used flippantly. Jimmy Brown quickly learned that just saying the words were not enough. We say these words to our kids and spouses. We say them to our parents. We say them to our friends. We even say them to the Lord. But do our actions match our words?
Jesus said very clearly, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We’ve probably told God we love Him. Do our actions agree? Our love for God must be displayed through our obedience. As Mark 12:30 puts it, we must love God with all of our “heart, soul, mind, and strength.”
Do we love our family? Do we love the church? Do we love God? If so, our action must match.