Today love is often displayed through gifts of chocolate, thoughtful cards, or flowers. While those may be valid expressions of our feelings toward another person, we cannot truly love others without understanding the love of God and receiving it from Him! Genuine love comes not from our own hearts but from the overflow of God’s love, joy, and peace through us.
When a lawyer asked Jesus to name the most important commandment, Jesus stated, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37). Then Jesus stated, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39). If we are occupied with loving God and others by the power of His Holy Spirit, we will avoid many of the pitfalls of self-serving.
Here are some practical ways to love others:
- View everyone with whom I cross paths as a “neighbor” to love.
- Reveal my love for others not just by my words but also by my actions.
- Esteem the needs of others above my own needs.
- Love others by meeting their needs, even if it means yielding my earthly possessions.
- Learn to accept my unchangeable characteristics so that I can fully love God and others.
- Treat others the way I would want to be treated.
- View my acts of love as being beneficial to the entire Body of Christ.
- Make special effort to show love to the poor and the stranger.
Jesus said, “Love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34). The more we know God’s character and the scope of His infinite goodness, the more our love for Him and others will grow!