Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Both friendship and love take time and effort. Neither are passive things. Neither are simply labels if they are genuine. We may feel good when we say we love others, but if we do nothing when they are in need then we have fooled ourselves.
We are asked not only to love our friends and family, but our neighbours also. We are asked to love the stranger, to love the foreigner, to love those we don’t understand. And, to love anyone is to take a certain responsibility for their well-being, both spiritually and physically, as we would for any of our closest friends.
It may seem daunting at first but through God we are given both the desire and the ability. When we focus on the love God has for us, for all the things He has done for us, all that He has sacrificed, it becomes difficult to keep that love contained. We discover that He has given us the grace to love others even if they seem difficult to love at first.