How much do you love others? Let us count the ways.

When you were younger, did you ever pick the petals off a flower counting, “he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me”? There are many silly games that we play, but none tell us if someone loves us or not. The only way to know if someone loves you or not is by the person’s actions, how the person treats you.

Did you know that to show Jesus that you love Him, you simply obey His commands? Did you know that one of His commands is to love others?

In John 15:10, 12, 14 and 17, Jesus said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. You are my friends if you do what I command. This is my command: Love each other.”

To show Jesus that we love him and to show others that we love Him, we need to be obedient. We need to follow His commands.

In 1 John 2:3 and 6, the Bible says, “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

Matthew 22:37-39 clearly states the commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” 1 John 3:23 reiterates: “And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as He commanded us.”

I get the distinct impression that we are supposed to love each other.

Sometimes loving others can be so difficult! People can be so hard to get along with, so hard to please, so easily offended. Their expectations may seem impossible. Few people understand us. We’re each unique. Is this an impossible request?

No. If the Lord Jesus asked us to love each other, we should really try to love each other. How can we love each other? We can’t just say that we love others. We must show that we love others by how we treat others.

How can we show people that we love them? Here are some ideas. You can probably think of some more.

1) Put another’s interests before your own. Don’t always try to be first or always have your way. Put yourself last and let others put you first out of love.
2) Listen.
3) Think of ways to make life easier for other people and then do them without being asked. They will appreciate that you lightened their load. Put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand their perspective.
4) Be polite and considerate.
5) Be honest, a person of integrity. Say what you mean. Do what you say.
6) Provide a ray of sunshine with a joyful spirit and a sincere smile.
7) Be helpful to those in need and visit the lonely.
8) Guard your heart and keep your priorities straight. Say no to the good things so you can say yes to the best.
9) Pray for people.
10) Make each person you meet feel welcome, appreciated, and needed.
11) When you talk to someone, look at him not past him.
12) Don’t be in such a hurry. When we are in a rush, we can overlook someone or a need. Don’t think, “me, me, me.” Think, “them, them, them.”

Sometimes kind acts go unnoticed by people, but they won’t go unnoticed by God. Certainly people reaching out to people and people showing kindness and love won’t hurt the world.

By following the two commandments given above, we automatically follow all the rest.

On those less loving days, a sincere “I’m sorry” can really patch things up. That’s another way to show love.

Don’t say, “I love you” if you don’t mean it, and forget the silly games. Keep the flowers intact and enjoy their beauty. Share them. Actions speak louder than words. By being kind and respectful we may achieve two goals: showing love to God by being obedient to His commands, and in turn, by being obedient, we show others they are loved.

How do you care for those around you?

This is a reprinted Reflections column.

8 thoughts on “How much do you love others? Let us count the ways.

  1. A teaching I heard recently said the best way we can love people and to give them grace is to admit we can’t!, as our sources will run dry. It is when we give them the love and grace God has for us that supply will not ever end. And though sometimes prayer doesn’t seem like much from our perspective I do believe it is the most loving thing we can do. Totally agree with actions speak louder than words. I appreciate your emphasis on the proof of our love being in the obedience. It is a principle I tried to convey to my Awana kiddos with extra emphasis also.

    1. Excellent points. We are human and do run dry. It reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom’s testimony in her book The Hiding Place. When she didn’t have the strength to do what was needed, God provided because she asked for His help in prayer. It’s a process we are always learning, I think.

  2. Great list. I think it is so important to ask someone “How are you?” and then, truly listen to their answer. Looking a person in the eyes makes a wonderful connection. 🙂

    1. I totally agree. Looking into someone’s eyes helps you to concentrate more fully without distractions on what the person is saying. It is important to hear and understand what another is saying, otherwise how can a true conversation and relationship take place. Great point! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wonderful article, and some great ideas for showing our love to others. Although most of us know these things, we need to be reminded of them from time to time.

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