How Do I Love You?
Director of Discipleship
Love is a pretty big deal with God. In fact, when Jesus was questioned about which of all the law of Moses was the most important, He replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
In John 15, Jesus tells His disciples that the proof that
someone really is His follower is whetheror not they obey His commands. He
goes on to make it clear that His command is to “love one another” (John
The difficulty comes in trying to figure out what loving someone looks like. Does it mean that I have to throw myself on a grenade for you? Does it mean that I have to feel great affection for you? (or even like you much?). I’ve come to the conclusion that loving like Jesus loves is active, practical, and hands-on.
How Do I Love Thee?
So how can I really love those around me on a day-to-day basis? Even though there are as many ways to love as there are people, I’m going to count a few that I am working on:
- I put others' needs ahead of my own;
- I listen well to others—I am fully present in the moment;
- I see Christ in the other person (even the “least of these” who do not yet know Christ);
- I give generously of my money and possessions;
- I pay attention to the people I encounter, noticing their needs;
- I notice how others show love to me, realizing that people express love in different ways, and that we show love in the ways we hope to receive it;
- I pray for others;
- I allow others to serve me and accept their love graciously;
- I meditate on God’s teaching about love—that He IS love. Love is everything to God, and my love for others must stem from my love for Him. Loving others is my gift of worship to God;
- I understand that loving people is rarely convenient, but I remind myself constantly that loving God and loving others is what I was put on this earth to do!