“Observe how Christ loved us. Love like that.” – Ephesians 5:2
Loving like Jesus is the best way to live. When we love like Him, we can step outside ourselves and clearly see others and their needs. We can shed layers of selfishness, resentment, anxiety, pettiness, and entitlement. Most of all, we can rise above our human imperfections and step into transcendent love.
Jesus’s model of love challenges us to stop settling for anything less than “the most excellent way.”
There are days it feels almost impossible to look beyond the faults of other’s and love them regardless. But if we continue to practice this attribute of love, it becomes easier thus transforming our lives into a more fulfilling walk with God.
When it comes to love, Jesus raised the bar astronomically. He teaches us to love our enemies, turn the other cheek, and walk the extra mile. To our human minds, that sounds completely outrageous–but that’s the point isn’t it?
Over and over, Jesus demonstrated these qualities to show us that they’re not unattainable ideals. Instead, they’re a doable way to get an earthly handle on a heavenly ideal.
Here Are Some Ways We Can Demonstrate Love
Lift the broken, enlarge the small, and favor the weak
Matthew 19:14 (NLT) But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children”
⦁ We must be full of grace, willing to relate to others in a less judgmental way.
In a society that, in many ways, treated children as little more than property, Jesus refused to let them be brushed aside. Rather, he spent time with them, blessed them, and made a special point to teach his followers that his Kingdom was made for people who would humble themselves like unto a child.
Have patience with each other/love without prejudice
Colossian 3: 12-13 (NLT) Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
⦁ We must be approachable. It’s important for people to feel safe approaching us; in other words, we must become less exclusive in our interactions with others and more welcoming to those who seek us out.
Isn’t it sobering that, even when we are surrounded by fellow believers, “bearing with one another” is still so hard? Patience is not something that comes naturally to most of us. But we can increase patience in our hearts by turning to God’s word, and remembering his supreme patience with us.
James 2:15-16 (NLT) Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
⦁ We must be self-giving. We need to become less self-absorbed and more invested in those around us.
Generosity isn’t just about dollars and cents. If we follow the example of Christ and other biblical heroes, we learn that being generous means living with a focused, self-sacrificing spirit. It means living with kindness, encouraging others, and offering our good works to one another.
Don’t withhold forgiveness
Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT) Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
⦁ We must be mindful of our approach to others. We need to connect more deeply with our lives and the people in them, rather than living a detached, disconnected existence.
When we are hurt, it’s tempting to reserve a secret place in our hearts to nurture bitterness, even long after apologies have been exchanged. And while it may be necessary to change or even break off relationships, true forgiveness is a demonstration of love, it sets us free and brings us closer to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT) Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.