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One of the tenets of the Christian faith is that we are to love others as God loves us. Sometimes, that can be easier said that done when we try how to love like Jesus. In this post, we’ll not only cover ways to love others, but where to begin and what to do if you just can’t help.
How to Love Like Jesus
So, I’m to find ways to love others, but where and HOW to love others?
Where do I begin?
There are three things you can do when you want to make a commitment and find ways to love others. Remember that:
Loving others starts with being observant.
One of the first steps in finding ways to love others as yourself is noticing them. The Samaritan first saw the hurting man. He didn’t get a text “there’s a hurting man that you’ll see when you travel this way”.
Being observant will help you to see what others need, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Share in the lives and needs of others.
In Acts 2, we see that this is what the early Christians did right after they were converted.
Despite the wide variety of people and languages represented, the early Christians willingly entered into one another’s lives, sharing the necessities of life. They demonstrated how to love like Jesus.
Talk to Others Who Are Different From You.
We tend to stick to what we know and what is comfortable. Spending time with those who are a similar age or economic status. Unfortunately, spending time with only those who are similar to us, can cause us to be apathetic or almost blind to others and their needs. God doesn’t choose only certain groups of people to save, so we shouldn’t choose only certain groups of people when we are looking for ways to love others. and should open our hearts and minds to everyone.
In each of the ways to love others listed below, we are helping them out of a tight spot – When Jesus attended a wedding with His mother, she asked Him to help the hosts when they ran out of wine. We may not be able to miraculously solve a problem, but God has gifted us in other ways to help.
How to Love Like Jesus: 19 Practical Ways
1. Welcome people like friends, rather than strangers.
When you meet someone new – at church, at work, at the grocery store, welcome them like long-lost friends. Not in a creepy way, but with warmth and true interest in them. Loving others begins with our attitude. When we choose to welcome and love others, we show how to love like Jesus.
2. You don’t have to search for someone to show love to.
So many are hurting. The world is filled with pain, loneliness, exclusion. Be the one that makes a difference by offering a smile, a kind word, an offer of assistance.
Ask them how they are doing. Offer to pray for them. Use their name when you speak with them, if you know it or see it on a name badge.
3. Love with food.
There are many ways to love others through food. Here are just a few:
- Take a tray of cookies to your neighbor
- Double the recipe of what you are making for dinner and bring the extra dish to the widow down the road or the single mother you see struggling.
- Have neighbors over for dinner or dessert. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal. Just tacos or pizza. Get to know them and listen to their stories. You don’t even have to bring up church or feel the need to read from the Bible. Simply love on and get to know others.
- Anonymously leave a bag of groceries on someone’s front step with a thoughtful note or Bible verse.
4. Prepare and hand out kits to bless the homeless.
In nearly every city and town, there are homeless men and women. Prepare a few care kits and keep them in your car You may be the only person that shows them kindness that week. Have a conversation with a homeless person. If you want to feed him lunch, great – but that’s not the goal. The goal is to listen and show them love and demonstrate how to love like Jesus.. Here’s a great resource on what to pack in a kit for the homeless.
5. Give the gift of time.
- Watch the children of single mothers so they can get errands done.
- Help the elderly widow by mowing their lawn
- Take sick friend’s trash to the curb.
- Help a neighbor weed or hoe their garden
6. Instead of alone time, make it “ways to love others time”.
When you wait for your car repair, take the kids to activities or wait in line for your car registration, put the down the phone and make conversation with others. Listen to them, ask about their life and how you can pray for them. In addition to blessing others, you make the time pass more quickly, as well and you might even make a new friend.
7. Be a Christmas Angel (or any time of the year angel)
You can choose one person or family to bless every day for a week or choose a new person each day. Simply sneak over to their home and leave a gift or note of encouragement on their doorstep or mailbox.
8. Participate in Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child
Although most know of the Shoe Box project to take place before Christmas, Samaritan’s purse accepts boxes year round. Make shopping for and packing boxes a family or small group activity. You can find more information on Operation Christmas Child and the Shoe Boxes here.
9. Love The Incarcerated.
Prison life is lonely, isolating and to be honest, not many prisoners are shown the love of Christ from others. Many prisoners don’t receive visitors. There are several ways to demonstrate how to love like Jesus to those incarcerated.
For those who are in prison, you can send a prisoner care kit. Here’s a great resource on what to send.
For those who are about to be released, you can send Welcome Home Kit. Most of the prisoners are facing no where to live, no personal effects or clothing, basically nothing. You can be a blessing to them by sending a Welcome Home Kit. The kits might include a Duffle bag or backpack, flashlight w/batteries, toiletries (toothpaste/brush, soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc.), roll of toilet paper, pre-paid phone card, pre-paid food card, $5 cash, wallet, and a list of resources which include phone numbers for homeless shelters, clinics, laundromats, etc.
10. Donate, Help to Raise Funds or Volunteer to Rescue Women and Children Sold Into Human Trafficking
End Slavery Now and related ministries work to rescue those enslaved around the world. You can help in many ways including giving, volunteering and educating others.
11. Support a Missionary Family
Of course, there are many ways to love others that are serving in ministry around the world. We all know that we can make financial contributions to support them, but there are other tangible ways to support missionaries, as well including:
- Sending clothes, toys for their children, and craft items
- Sharing information about their ministry with others on social media or a blog
- Pray for them, their families and their ministries
- Send care packages including news from home and treats they can’t get overseas
- Write to them by letter or email and let them know that you are thinking of them and praying for them. The life of a missionary can be isolating and homesickness among missionaries is very common.
12. Pack and Deliver Food or Presents to Those Less Fortunate
A box of dinner ingredients, toiletries or simply presents for them and their children would all be wonderful blessings and a great way to love others in the name of Jesus.
13. Volunteer to Help Feed the Poor, Homeless and Those in Shelters
Most communities have a food pantry shelter that welcome volunteers. Volunteer to distribute food or serve meals. If allowed, bring games to play or crafts to do with the children.
14. Give a Financial Gift
Perhaps you know of a family or individual that is struggling – hand them an envelope with a financial gift and a note that you are praying for them. No advice. No preaching just a simple way to love others. If you don’t know of anyone, ask your pastor. He would more than likely be happy to give the gift on your behalf. Your gift may mean that the recipient doesn’t have to choose between keeping the lights on and feeding their family.
Praying for someone can sometimes seem like it doesn’t really count as loving that person; however, prayer involves coming before God on their behalf and that is the most powerful way to love others.
16. Give a Really Good Tip
The next time you go out to eat, leave a great tip with a note that says “Thank you! Jesus loves you.”
17. Pay for Someone in Line Behind You
The next time you are at a fast food restaurant, grocery store, or toll plaza, pay for the person behind you. This small act of showing how to love like Jesus can make a huge difference in a person’s day.
18. Write a Letter to Someone
Write a letter or even an email or text telling someone how much you appreciate something that they did for you – either recently or a long time ago. Share with them how they had an impact on your life. I love using cards to bless someone with a little note.
19. Make Something for Someone
Knit a scarf or blanket for someone who needs it. If you are a papercrafter, make a box of cards for someone to have when they need it. Include a pen and postage.
I’ve just shared nearly a couple of dozen ways to love others. I’m sure, while reading this, you thought of others.
Commit today to do at least one of these every day. You will be demonstrating how to love like Jesus by spreading God’s love and letting others see Him through You.
What if You Just Can’t Help?
Sometimes, you might encounter someone who needs something that you can’t provide. What do you do then?
Do what you can to get them help. A paralyzed man received healing from Jesus because his friends dropped him through a roof at Jesus’ feet. They were willing to do whatever it took it to get help for their friend! (Mark 2:1-12)
Rebuke them, with love, when needed. Sometimes the best way we can love someone is by graciously confronting their sinful, destructive behavior (Proverbs 27:6, Matthew 18:15-17).
Forgive them. Jesus eliminated the limit on forgiveness when Peter asked how many times he should forgive (Matthew 18:21-22). Some hurts seem unforgivable, but with God’s help it’s possible to “promote love” through forgiveness (Proverbs 17:9).
Rejoice and cry with them. We show deep care for others when their hurts and joys are also ours. Don’t hold back. Let the tears and the cheers flow! (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
Ultimately, there are dozens, hundreds, even thousands of ways to love others. Some cost money, some time, others effort. All of them, however, are pleasing to God as he desires for us to love others as He loves us.
Here are some great resources chock full of ideas on ways to love others:
No Fear in Love by Andy Braner
Love Beyond Reason by John Ortberg
ESV – “Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”