Loving others isn’t the easiest thing to do, considering how humans easily offend each other. However, we can’t afford to keep a grudge with everyone around us. Christ has drawn us to himself and his love from the beginning, and we get to discover the depth and width of his love each day. By accepting His transforming love, we are entitled to give this same love out to others abundantly.
The most important commandment Christ has given to us is to love one another. John 13:34 -35, He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” From this passage, we can understand why we are asked to love one another. “He says by this everyone will know that you are my disciples.” By loving each other, we show to others that we are disciples of Christ.
We argue within ourselves: are we to show this love to just Christians like us or everyone, including unbelievers?
Jesus answered this question in Matthew 5:43-48, where he said “you have heard that it was said, love your neighbor and hate your enemies but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect; therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Here Jesus simplified our argument and gave us a great answer saying we should love everyone without discriminating or separating them according to their faith.
It is only by God’s grace; we are able to obey Jesus’ command to love. We can only love like God by getting love from Him. We love because he first loved us.
Characteristic of God’s love
God’s love is proactive and sacrificial. Being proactive means acting first to avoid problems. In his infinite mercy, God showed us love first, and sacrificed his son for us at the cross.
“In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loves us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Here we can see that God loved us first even before we loved Him.
God’s love for us is unconditional and forever, and nothing on this Earth and beneath the Earth cam compare or compete with it. This is evident in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor power’s, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
3. Secure and constant
God’s love for us is eternal, and it does not change one bit. “… and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,” Matthew 28:20. With God’s love, we are fully secured and protected from whatsoever that will harm us.
4. On the side of righteousness
Righteousness and truth are the only basis for God’s love. He disregards evil but loves them that do Good.
5. God’s love is not manipulative
God’s love is not forceful and does not exert coercion.
Expressing God’s love to others
1. Pray for them
An impactful way of showing others you love them us by praying for them unconditionally. Pray for your loved ones, your friends, and even those you just met. Your prayers will go a long way in helping them in ways you may not know.
2. Loving others by means of encouragement
Learn to become a source of encouragement for others. There are people around you going through a lot of things that you may or may not know about. If your spirit leads you to talk to a person, do so.
You never can tell, they may need your encouraging words at that moment. Give them a listening ear while they say their problems and offer words of encouragement to them.
3. Tell the truth with love
The first step to loving others is being truthful to them. When we see others taking the wrong track, we should call them back and talk to them with love and not with confrontations and criticism. At all times, learn to speak with love.
4. Assure others of God’s love
It is our sole responsibility to tell others about God’s love and let them know that they are secured in Christ. Christ showed us an easy route to loving others, with the way he loved the Pharisees. Speak hope to them that in whatever situation they find themselves that God is with them always. Proclaim God’s goodness and kindness, assuring them of God’s love.
5. Learn to Forgive
For us to express God’s love to others, we must practice the act of forgiveness just as our Father in heaven forgives all our iniquities.
6. Offer help
Offer help to those who are in need. They may be your friends, relatives, neighbors, or even strangers. If someone is in dire need for something and you can help do offer your help to them. Loving others is best expressed by helping them when they are in need.