Love is a Verb: Acting Beyond Feeling and Leaving a Legacy

 

“The most lasting thing we can do with our lives… is to love because love never fails.” – Perry Noble

I loved this quote when I read it for the first time. It was embedded within a daily devotional, and it was the reason I kept reading the reflection it accompanied in my email. Some would argue that love does not last. Perhaps that is true… IF you use the world’s definition of what love is. The issue we seem to have today in the world is that we equate love with emotion or feelings alone. The problem with doing this is that once the “feeling” is gone or things become stagnant, we also lose sight of love. Those who understand what real love is meant to be, know that love goes beyond the good, warm, and fuzzy feelings we get. Love is still in the arguments we have with our spouses, even though we might not “feel” it.

Love is still present when someone we care about is sick, even to the point of terminal illness. Love still exists whether or not you have a job or money in your pocket. Love continues on even if the one you felt deeply for has died. The reason that love still remains is because true love is not fleeting, nor does it fade. Love most certainly does not fail. When we love someone, we do “feel” something inside of us. However, true love goes beyond the emotion we feel. Love is actually a verb – an action. Actions, then, breed life, and in the case of love, can also multiply simply by “acting” whether or not we “feel” something.

So why should we “act” on love? Simply put, we need to leave a legacy for those to follow. A very famous Native American proverb tells us that we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, but rather we borrow it from future generations. In essence, the same is true for love’s working. We act on love because we must return the love we wish upon future generations. We need to “build” a legacy of love if we wish for love to exist in the next age to come after us. How do we do that? I don’t know all the answers, but I have a few recommendations:

  1. Seize opportunities to love. You can’t act on love if all you ever do is sit at home, or even worse, if all you do is live inside your own little bubble of a world. Each one of us was created with special gifts and talents, and these were meant to be shared. Get out there and look for ways in which you can show love to someone
  2. Understand the power of your words. Imagine how much more different any of our relationships would be if we said uplifting and positive things like a simple “thank you” or “you did great” more often. Our words carry a lot of weight. Words have been used to tear down, but they are also used to build someone up and speak life into a hurting spirit. I’m not advocating the practice of “sugar coating” a person’s life situation. What I am advocating, however, is to match your words with your actions AND sentiments.
  3. Commit yourself to helping others in some way. You could do this in big ways like donating blood, volunteering or performing community service, and even working with a soup kitchen. But then again, you can also commit to helping others in very small and simple ways too. Smiling at people who walk past you in the street or in a school hallway is a simple, yet uplifting way to help someone. Picking up trash when the receptacle is full and putting it in the emptier one is a way to help someone by lessening the clean up tasks he or she may have. One of my favorite ways to help others is to simply give them my presence – I sit and chat with them face-to-face. Having a real person to sit and talk with shows the other that you love them enough to spend precious time with him or her. That person might not remember any of my degrees or what I do for a living or in my spare time. But that person will most certainly remember how I made them feel

These acts of unconditional love – love that goes beyond the feeling and enters into action – are what leave a legacy. In my book series, The Last Prophet, our main character often talks about this unconditional love, the all giving, selfless love, in one word – Agape. It is a Greek word that means a perfect love. What makes it perfect is in its giving. GIVING. It is an action, not a sentiment. The sentiment is conveyed as an action, and that is how the receiver knows they are loved… through the actions of the one who loves them. My favorite line about love in the Bible is quite simple – Love never fails. I simply want to add that it – love – also leaves a legacy.

What would you like your legacy of love to be? Comment in the space provided.

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