Making disciples of Jesus requires time. We come dangerously close to false advertising when we declare that we are a church or ministry of “God’s love” and then the people in our ministry are too busy to spend time with one another or with outsiders. It is hurtful to be told by someone “I love you” and then they do not have the time to spend with you-especially when you need them. Who has not been stung by family or friends who were too busy to get together? Love cannot just be verbalized but it also must be demonstrated as seen in God’s love for us: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
It has been said that the gospel declared but not demonstrated is not heard. Since the gospel is love, I would add that a love declared but not demonstrated is not heard. The words “I love you” mean little without the action to accompany those words. Action requires time. If I have no time then I am not able to act and therefore not able to love.
This then begs the question: why am I so busy? I have wondered if my busyness is an attempt to avoid slowing down enough to realize that either (1) I am not loved, (2) that I do not know how to love, or (3) I understand the cost to love and I am unwilling to pay that price. It is also less painful to blame the void of love in my life on busyness rather than having to admit that I am not loved or do not know how to love.