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 and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:16-18
John is writing to the first century community. He is the last remaining of the original twelve. This document is being written late in the first century. The Johannine literature is the last written documents to be penned in the NT. Ironically, I would note that the letter of James was one of the first letters written in the NT. In that letter James says, show me someone of faith and I will show you someone whose life aligns with that faith. They will act like it. John sounds a lot like James. John is saying fifty years later if someone says that they really love God then you should be able to see their lives aligning to that belief as well. Some call it: social justice. I would simply call it internal consistency. I would call it the meditations of my heart matching the actions of my life.
If I really love God, if I really believe in Him, you should be able to see it in my footsteps. In what I put my hand to. In the words of my mouth and not just the meditations of my heart. That to me is the definition of integrity. Actions matching beliefs. Matching values. Matching the person of Jesus.
Lord Jesus today I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart match your heart. Match yours in integrity. In honesty. And in power. In Jesus name I pray.