2021-12-09
window.twttr = (function (d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], t = window.twttr || {}; if (d.getElementById(id)) return t; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); t._e = []; t.ready = function (f) { t._e.push(f); }; return t; }(document, "script", "twitter-wjs"));
Shutterstock.com

A Christian wants to be as much like Jesus as they can. Part of being like Jesus is loving as He did. God has a goal of conforming us to the image of His Son. Romans 8:29 says for those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the idea of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. Jesus was always obedient to the Father, pure in every way, and He loved people selflessly. In John 13:34, He commanded His disciples to love each other the same way He loved them.

Still, that presents a problem; Jesus showed His love by dying for us. John 15:13 says there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Since most of us will never be in a situation where we have to die for someone, how can we love as Jesus did?

Show Kindness

By being kind to our neighbors and others we encounter every day, we are showing them the love of Christ. To love like Christ, we must be kind to others even when we don’t think they deserve it. We can help others out of the kindness of our hearts put a smile on their faces. Instead of treating others unpleasantly, we can be friendly and nice, even when we don’t know them. The love of Christ isn’t only for those we know, but it’s also for the strangers we meet along the way. Ephesians 4:32 says that we must be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Be Patient

Corinthians 13:4 says that love is patient, and when we show patience to others, we’re showing them the love of Christ. As patient people, we are to bear with one another and give others room to grow and become more like Christ. We must treat others with patience wherever we go because everyone is different, and we don’t know the battles people face day in and day out. It’s hard to be patient with others in a fast-paced world where we want things done instantly. Still, if we take the time to be patient, we’ll show God’s love to others. Ephesians 4:2 reminds us to be completely humble and gentle; we must also be patient and bear with one another in love.

Love Others as You Love Yourself

To love like Jesus, we have to start by loving ourselves. You can only love others and do things for them the way you do for yourself. If you are to love yourself unconditionally, receive God’s love which He freely gives you. Love is a fruit of the Spirit, and it exists in our hearts when we accept Christ and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. With a heart full of God’s love, you can love others, even those who behave in unloving ways toward you.

Love Your Enemies

Not everyone you encounter is your friend, and others will become your enemies for reasons best known to them. Just because others hate us and choose to persecute us doesn’t mean we treat them the same way. Jesus wants us to love them and pray for them because He knows they need His saving power. When we love our enemies, we’re showing that we can love them and want the best for them with Christ in our hearts. Jesus didn’t want us to return evil for evil but overcome evil with good. By praying for our enemies, we’re inclined to let go of the ill will we have for them in our hearts because of what they’ve done to us. Matthew 5:44 reminds us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.

Pray For Others

Prayer is powerful and invites God to intervene in the lives of others. Jesus wants us to pray for others so that He can move in their situation and give them a breakthrough for their troubles. We don’t have to pray for others when they’re having problems, but all the time. When you have nothing else to offer someone, you can pray for them and trust God will answer that prayer. Ephesians 6:18 reminds us to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayer and requests. With this in mind, we must also be alert and always pray for all the Lord’s people.

God is love, and if we call ourselves godly, then we need to show others the love of Christ. Love is something we offer others, whether they deserve it or not, in obedience to God. It can be hard to love those we consider problematic, but the grace of God will help get us through it. Pray for a loving and caring heart toward others and that you’ll be a reflection of the love of Christ in the world. In John 13:35, Jesus told His disciples that the primary way the world would know they were His was by their love for one another. If we love Jesus, we’ll love what He loves, which is everyone. As we practice loving what He loved, we become more like Him.

Loving like Jesus means we care enough about the souls of others to tell them the truth.

In Luke 18:18 -25, A wealthy young ruler came to Jesus with good intentions but lacked surrender. He wanted what Jesus offered, but he didn’t want Jesus. He loved his money more, and Jesus lovingly pointed out the young man’s greed. We don’t love people by watering down the gospel that could save them. Jesus never changed the truth to satisfy the ears of His listeners, as stated in 2 Timothy 4:3.

Jesus loved His listeners enough to warn them, challenge them, teach them, and forgive them to the cross. As each day passes, Christians worldwide desire to be more like Jesus. The first step to being more like Jesus is to love as He did. If we love those around us without ill intentions, we’ll be closer to being like Jesus than we think.

window.twttr = (function (d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], t = window.twttr || {}; if (d.getElementById(id)) return t; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); t._e = []; t.ready = function (f) { t._e.push(f); }; return t; }(document, "script", "twitter-wjs"));
more from beliefnet and our partners