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Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

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Knowing how to love other people is hard. None of us loves perfectly. As mothers and fathers, we love our children with every fiber of our being, but so often we make parenting mistakes. As husbands and wives, we want to be good to our spouses, but sometimes, we can’t figure out what they need from us. Loving others well is not a simple matter.

But we can learn how to be better at loving people. In the Bible, God provides us with countless examples of how to love others. Below are some of the ways in which God has shown us what it means to love others the right way.

  1. Forgive Easily: God only has one requirement of us when we do something wrong. We need to repent and ask for forgiveness. That’s it! Nothing more. Like God, we too should forgive easily. Once someone tells us that they are sorry, the offense should be forgotten.
  2. Give Second Chances: God loves to give second chances, and so should we. When God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh, Jonah instead went in the opposite direction. So, God had a great fish swallow Jonah. While in the fish’s belly, God gave Jonah some time to think things over. Jonah then realized the error of his ways. God gave Jonah a second chance to be obedient. Similarly, we also should give the ones we love a second chance to do the right thing.
  3. Don’t Expect Perfection: Before his crucifixion, Jesus predicted that Peter would be betray him three times. And when Peter did so, Jesus wasn’t angry with him. Jesus knew that when the authorities came to arrest him, his disciples would be afraid and would abandon him. He knew that they were human beings and were imperfect. But that didn’t make him love them any less. We likewise should remember that the people in our lives will make mistakes. We need to love them anyway.
  4. See the Potential in Others: When God chose David to fight Goliath, he didn’t choose him based on what David had already done in his life. After all, David was merely a young shepherd at the time. But God knew David’s potential. In the same way, we always should look at those we love by seeing what is possible in them. If we do so, we can encourage them to achieve great things.
  5. Love Others for Their Inner Attributes: When God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, He didn’t choose her because she was beautiful or wildly successful. After all, she was just a simple, teenage girl. He chose her because of her inner attributes of goodness and humility. In the same way, we need to look past the exterior qualities of others – the ones that the world deems are important – and instead value those we love for their inner qualities.
  6. Be Loyal: Ruth was a woman who had lost her husband. Her mother-in-law had lost her husband too. However, instead of abandoning her mother-in-law to serve her own interests, Ruth told her mother-in-law, “Whither thou goest, I will go.” Ultimately, God rewarded Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law by giving her wealth and children. God wants us to be loyal to those who we love. And sometimes that means putting their needs before our own.
  7. Serve Others: At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus did this to set an example for his disciples. He wanted them know that a large part of loving other people is serving them. God doesn’t want us to live selfish lives. We are to serve those we love.
  8. Don’t Let Society Dictate Who You Can Love: The first person that Jesus revealed himself to as the Messiah was not one of his disciples or another Jewish person. Instead, he first revealed himself to a Samaritan woman. The Samaritans were bitter enemies of the Jews. And yet, Jesus revealed himself to her first. Jesus didn’t care about society’s biases and prejudices. He simply loved people. In same way, we should love people because of who they are, not because they are the right race, ethnicity or nationality.
  9. Encourage Others: When God asked Moses to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt, Moses wasn’t sure that he was up to the task. But God encouraged him and told Moses that He would be with him. Moses didn’t believe in himself, but God believed in him. In the same way, sometimes those we love may need our encouragement. Very often, people have the right skills to accomplish their goals, but they need emotional support. That is where we come in. An encouraging word at the right time can truly change the trajectory of another person’s life.
  10. Make Peace Your Priority: During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” We are called to act peacefully toward others, especially toward those whom we love. That means that sometimes we have to ignore their offending behavior. And sometimes, we have to bite our tongues. That is because love can only flourish in the midst of peace.

Throughout the Bible, we see examples of how God wants us to love others. Consider how you can take a more God-like approach to the way you love your family and friends. Your relationships can only benefit.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

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