Let All You Do Be Done with Love
By Tim East
Hello Church Family,
Paul was finishing his letter to the church in Corinth, and no doubt, it had been a difficult one to write. He had corrected them over a dozen times for dividing into factions, falling for false teachings, gorging on all the food when the dined together, and the list could go on.
And such are all of us: striving to do well, but failing; willing to do the good, but finding ourselves falling into temptation; and always needing both admonishment and encouragement.
Paul wants to sum it all up in one final statement, something that would pull it all together, and here is what he said:
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men (adults, not child-like), be strengthened. Let all that you do be done in love.”
Five short commands. Just a final few words. In fact, if they’d been living out these five, they might not have needed the entire letter. But they did need to hear them, and so do we—especially the last one.
We are to be watching: watching for threats and watching for opportunities to show love. We are not to be shifting like sand, but to stand firmly in our faith. Faith here is THE FAITH “once for all delivered to the saints,” that which we all share in common. We are to stand firm the person of Christ, his work and his Word, not our personal opinions, biases, or preferences. In those, we are to yield to our brethren and submit to one another in love. But always firm in the faith.
To “act like men” is to accept responsibility like an adult, not making excuses as children often do—to grow up, as Paul would encourage them so often.
To “be strengthened” is the only command in the passive voice in this text: literally, to allow yourself to be strengthened. Our strength only comes from the Lord and his Spirit, working through his Word, and from no other source. We cannot strengthen ourselves, as we have nothing but God’s strength on which to draw.
Finally, and bringing all these together: let everything we do be done with and in love for one another and for the world. If we try to accomplish God’s work and God’s will for our lives, but we don’t have love, we cannot do either. Love is displayed so often by what we do and don’t do, especially when times are tough. Love means we don’t hold grudges. We don’t remember wrongs. We go the extra mile. We take the extra blow. We put on humility. We impart courage to the weak. We don’t walk out. We keep on loving. Even if we don’t particularly like someone, we set that aside and we love them with all our hearts and all God’s strength flowing through us.
Let this be said of our church, our families, our conversations, and our lives: everything we do is done with love.