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How to Love Others as God Loves Us
And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. –
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 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.
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”.
“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine,” Luke 10:33-34
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.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. – Acts 2:44–47
Despite the wide variety of people and languages represented, the early Christians willingly entered into one another’s lives, sharing the necessities of life.
Talk to Others Who Are Different From You.
But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. – James 2:9
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 Others: Practical Ways
- 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 God’s love.
Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.- Romans 15:7
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
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.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. – Romans 12:13
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. 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 show Christ’s love 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.
Brothers and sisters, pray for us. – 1 Thessalonians 5:25
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 love for others 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 The Hope Deck 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 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)
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.
For a post on how serving others strengthens your marriage, see this post.
Here are some great resources chock full of ideas on ways to love others:
Are you still beating yourself up over past sins? God has already forgiven you! See more on forgiveness in this post.
Because of Him,