What Does It Look Like To Love Others Well?
Have you ever had something happen that reminds you of what is truly important in this life?
Just recently, the Lord reminded me through the death of a little girl that loving well makes a difference in this life and for eternity. When we love others well it puts the gospel message on display for the world to see and know that they are loved by the Lord.
This child made an impact on those around her. Children who knew her shared how their friend loved them well. Each one claimed she was their “best friend” and could give examples of things she did to make them feel special and loved. The impact of her life has left a legacy of loving others well.
John 13: 34-35 says: “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The command to love God and to love our neighbor is found in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Yet, the way we are to love others is modeled by Jesus in this passage and raises the bar on how we are to show love to others. “You love one another as I have loved you”. In John 13, Jesus is humbly washing the disciple’s feet. He was preparing to go to the cross and lay down His life for us so that the wrath of God would be satisfied, and so we could be brought into a right relationship with God if we believe in Him. This humble, costly, sacrificial, and self-less love that Christ is modeling for us is the kind of love that He is asking us to show to one another.
As we do this, others will take notice of the difference in us and know that we are His disciples. “By this all will know that you are My disciples.” Loving others well allows the gospel to be proclaimed to a lost world around us.
What does it look like to love others well?
In our marriage: My grandfather was a wonderful example of loving well in a marriage. My grandmother had a massive stroke and was unable to walk, talk, or swallow. She lived in a nursing home for 11 ½ years. My grandfather knew she enjoyed being at home, so he would bring her home during the day. He would sit with her at the front window and they would watch the birds. He would take her for long drives around the community. When it got too hard for him to do this, he would visit with her at the nursing home and make sure she had everything she needed for the 10 ½ years he had left on earth. He became a symbol of faithfulness to those around him. He loved well because he loved his wife, but he also loved well because he loved His Savior.
With our children: Pointing our children to the Lord and their need for a Savior is one of the best ways we can love them. It is important to share with them how the Lord has been faithful in our own lives. Many times, I am reminded by the Lord to slow down and really get to know my kids and their hearts — what they love, enjoy, and to see what He is doing in their lives.
With our neighbors: Are we serving and loving them so that they hear the gospel through our words and our actions? Philippians 2:4 reminds us to “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” I truly believe the Lord placed my family where He wanted us to be to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors.
In our churches: Are we loving others well in our churches? We should make visitors feel welcomed. We should develop friendships and not just pass people in the hallways of the church never knowing names or what’s happening in their lives. You never know what kind of impact the Lord desires for you to have in these weekly encounters! May we take time to really love and invest in the people around us.
Those who have turned away from the Lord: Loving others well will sometimes involve confronting the sin we see in others’ lives in hopes that they will repent and be restored into a right relationship with Jesus. At times, this can be heartbreaking as you see those you love and care about walk away from the Lord, but we are to love them enough to speak truth to them.
I am thankful for the life of this little girl, of my grandfather, and of the many others who love Jesus and love others well. How is the Lord challenging you to love others like He does?
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Hebrews 10:24