Through the Valley series logo

1 John 3: 18-21(CEB)

18 Little children, let’s not love with words or speech but with action and truth. 19 This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts in God’s presence. 20 Even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have confidence in relationship to God.


By these opening words, “Little children,” the writer, John, reminds us that we are all God’s children. But whether from two thousand years ago or by today’s attitudes, we often think of children as knowing less about love –or at least as lacking in experience in love, as compared to adults. Yet by comparing Christians to “children,” we are also humbled to love as God loves us.

We are not just inexperienced in God’s love and ways in childhood; we really don’t know all the ways of God’s love at any age. But perhaps it is children who also share their love more easily and with confidence. If anyone loves “with action and truth,” often it is best seen in little children. To love with all the simplicity of a child, is to love so completely and unabashedly without hesitation. Isn’t God’s love shared completely and unabashedly for us? Maybe children don’t know all that adults know, but when it comes to loving, children are unashamed to freely be themselves.

Children are not embarrassed to throw their arms around someone or to offer their love and support however that’s needed. They are not afraid to go out and take action, even when adults give excuses about why such actions won’t work. With love, Children worry less that their feelings won’t be reciprocated, and love us anyway. Isn’t this how God loves us? And isn’t this how God asks us to love one another?

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

Through this passage, we know that even when our “adult” hearts are timid about love, it is God whose heart shares no weakness for loving us. It is God’s heart that shows confident, complete and endless love. It is God who loves without fear. Dear friends, our hearts need not condemn us. Instead, let’s love with confidence in our relationship to God.


Gracious God, You are the God who loves us in our past, present and future. We truly cannot imagine the vastness of your love. You love us so much and without worrying about showing us this love. Help us to love with action and truth for those people we meet now and always. Help us to freely share this love in your holy name. Amen.