Sometimes I’ll read something, and the wording of it, whether the whole or just a small phrase, will catch my attention or even take my breath away. Case in point:

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. (1 John 3:18 MSG)

All of that is just delicious, but this…living truly…well, that’s worked its way deep into my brain.

We don’t talk this way, do we? We talk about the things that will make our lives the most wonderful experience we can imagine, like making enough money to not worry about bills and be able to travel to long-desired locales. Discussions turn to easy weekends at the lake house, or burying our toes in the sand with a good book and an ocean breeze. Sitting quietly on the porch with a glass of wine, watching the sun tuck in for the night, we say “This…this is truly living.”

And you know what? It is. It’s all wonderful, and all blessing.

It’s also all about us.

That verse up there says not to just talk about love, but to practice it. To live it. And if we’re living it, we’re breathing it. We’re extending it and exuding it, which means that it’s constantly moving out, away from us and into the world. It’s not about us at all, but about everyone else.

With the focus off ourselves, God has us right where He wants us: living truly in His reality.

As much as I enjoy every single blessing that I count as mine, it’s the loving part that thrills me most. The active loving, not just to my own people, or those who are easiest to love, but to the hurting and difficult and downright impossible to love. When He helps me push through and love those most challenging in the world, it puts me in a different place I’ve never visited before. It shines deep inside like a sunset over a vast ocean, and gives me peace like a summer night on the screened porch at the lake.

Living truly? Well, it turns out that IT is truly living.


(I’m going to let the scripture in the text stand on its own today. 🙂 )