Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18
Save those who persevere and do good works. For them is forgiveness and a great reward.
Turn yourself not away from three best things: Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds.
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?
Hillel the Elder, Pirke Avot 1:14
These four passages speak volumes. Let’s look at each one. In 1 John, we are told not to love only throughout words, but to love truly and in what we do. So many people claim to love their fellow man, but they don’t do anything about it. They don’t show their love and it is not a love in truth. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” God loved the world and he did something about it, he brought us a Savior to wash away our sins and to make us one with God. If we are to emulate God, then we must show our love in deed and truth in the same way he showed us. Sometimes that means we must sacrifice something of ourselves to make the world a better more loving place.
Likewise, the Qur’an says that if we persevere and do good works, then we shall have great rewards. That reward is forgiveness; forgiveness of our sins, because we need God’s forgiveness to have eternal life. Remember, God gave his only Son so that we may have that eternal life so forgiveness is the greatest gift he can give us. It is why I begin all prayers with “Lord, forgive me of my sins and help me to be a better person.” It should be first and foremost in our thoughts and deeds. Not only should we ask God for forgiveness but we should also forgive our fellow man for his transgressions. We must show forgiveness in order to attain forgiveness.
Zoroastrianism can be summed up in this phrase, “Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds.” God tells us if we think of a sin, seriously contemplate it, then it is just as sinful as doing it. We must have good thoughts, not only for ourselves but for other. We must speak good words for if we are truthful in our speech then we can make a difference if we only speak good words. And of course, none of this is worth anything if we don’t also do good deeds to back up our good thoughts and good words.
The last quote if from the Pirke Avot translates to English as Chapters of the Fathers. It is a compilation of the ethical teaching and maxims of the first period of Rabbinic writings. It says that we must be our own advocates because you cannot count on others to advocate for you. In turn, you cannot only advocate for yourself but for others as well, because if you do not advocate for others then you will lose who you are. In the last part of this quote, it tells us we must do this now, for if not now when will we have the chance.
These four scriptures/quotes tell us that we must love truthfully and with all our heart, not just showing that in words but also in deeds. They tell us if we do this and do good works then our reward is forgiveness and eternal life. The best things in life are good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. Also, we must not only advocate for ourselves but for others as well. These four quotes came from a book I am reading about a woman who worked to get an Iranian woman off death row for stabbing a man who tried to rape her. Her actions are summed up in these four quotes as she was an advocate for others, and showed love in truth and deed through good works. Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds.