1 John 3:16-20, The Bible
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Does anyone know how to live out this way? As we sit watching our televisions or reading our newspapers, being exposed to the starvation of epic proportions in Africa, what do we do? When I see the homeless man on the street, should we just give him our clothes? Why is doing good so complicated?
I have a hunch. Perhaps it's a hunch that is unattainable, but perhaps not. It requires us constantly being in the flow...and that is where our ethical, relational decisions are made from. I so badly want to make a universal rule from these words, but I seem to think it's more about walking enlightened and engaged with the activity of God all around us at all times. And then all decisions are thoroughly contextual and relational...but out of a core that is connected to the deepest parts of the Universe.
But perhaps I use that kind of language because it seems near impossible to me, and if it's impossible, then I must not be called to live it out. What a wretched man am I!