Do you know what an “erg” is? It’s the term of measurement for a unit of mechanical work. For example, it takes a certain amount of ergs for you to lift that coffee mug.
“Erg” is also the Greek word for “action,” when the Bible says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).
Love is work. A healthy marriage relationship doesn’t just happen, it takes work. Parenting is work (and having parents is work). Friendship is work.
Sometimes it’s hard work! A mother walked in on her 5-year-old who was sobbing. “What’s the matter?” she asked.
“I just figured out how to tie my shoes,” her child whimpered.
“Well, honey, that’s wonderful. You’re growing up, but why are you crying?” she wondered.
The child cried more dramatically. “Because now I’ll have to do it every day for the rest of my life.”
Here’s a truth that mom knows more completely than her child: tying shoes becomes something we can do without even thinking about it. One of those muscle memory habits that we don’t put on our project list for the day. We lace up those shoes and step into heavier tasks that take more ergs.
Are you finding it hard to love someone? Has your relationship with social media (easy, convenient, sometimes anonymous) convinced you that the hard work of personal relationships (difficult, inconvenient, sometimes confusing) is less important?
Then remember this: you are a child of God. He loves you with work—with actions. Not just a feeling. And his truths are promises that equip you to do much, much more than tie your shoes.
Step into the hard work of love this weekend. Because it’s the work of God, but before that you are the work of God.
PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, I confess that I’ve backed away from the hard work of love, hoping for an easy way out. Thank you, Father, for not backing away from loving me, a most difficult task. Equip me for the hard work of love. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read 1 John 3:18-24 and keep your Bible open to it over the weekend. Return to it a few times.
- “We belong to the truth.” This relieves your fears and refreshes you from failures. How does it free you for loving with more action (vv. 19-22).
- “This is his command.” What promise or gift of God enables you to keep his command? (vv. 23-24)