God has been teaching me what it truly means to love people well. I always thought I was doing a good job. I’ve always thought of myself as a nice person, and I thought that if I was nice and I treated people in a nice way, then I was doing well enough. A funny thing about God is that right when you think you’re doing fine on your own, He comes and wrecks that in the best way by convicting you and challenging you. That’s what He’s been doing in my life recently. I’m not here to say that I love people perfectly now, but God has shown me a few things I can work on to love people better, so maybe by reading these, we can all love a little better and make the world a little brighter.
- Use your words to SET PEOPLE HIGHER. If my words aren’t uplifting, then I’m not pointing to Jesus. Personally, for me, this means taking the extra thought to TELL PEOPLE what’s awesome about them. I know people mean a lot to me, but sometimes I forget to say it. Letting people know that you appreciate them and pointing out things they are good at will brighten someone’s day like no other. This goes for confrontations, arguments, and people you don’t WANT to love as well; approach it with humility, and use your words to highlight the dignity of the other person.
- Bite your tongue. To love others well, know when to speak, but also know that there are times to stay silent. If Jesus, by God’s grace, could stay silent when people were spitting on him, beating him, and mocking him, then we can pray for that kind of strength. Be wise with your words, because your tongue is the sharpest sword.
- Look up once in a while. Take this in whatever context convicts your heart. Whether it be looking up from your phone or looking up from your own problems and your own life, taking your eyes off of YOU, and focusing them on the people around you will allow you to truly see people the way God sees them. By taking the focus off of yourself, you’ll allow God to break your heart for what breaks His, and you’ll hear him teach you how to love that broken person sitting next to you in class, or that person you’ve had conflicts with.
- Give gladly and selflessly. Give when maybe you don’t want to. Give without expecting to get anything in return. Whatever it is, give it cheerfully! Be thankful that you have something you’re able to give. I’ve realized lately that in everything I do, I should do it so that people can see Jesus through me. When it comes to giving, Jesus didn’t hold back. He gave EVERYTHING, for people who might not even come to know who he is. He gave it all out of love, knowing that we might not choose to love him back. The same goes for us in our lives. “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that?” – Matthew 5:46. Give of yourself always, especially when it’s hard.
Loving the way God loves isn’t surface level or conditional; it’s genuine, selfless, and abounding. I think this world needs a little more God and a little more love, how bout you?
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22: 37-40 ESV