Love is a strong feeling of compassion, kindness, and affection towards another person. It is a feeling that influences how we relate or behave to one another as humans.
When interacting with someone, you can be positively impacted by their gesture if they feel love towards you, or you can feel negatively if they hate you. Love is undeniably a force that influences human actions and thoughts at any given time, and we cannot ignore it.
When God made humans, his love for us was why he made everything he knew we would need to live a meaningful life. When humans rebelled against God, he was angry and sent them out of that paradise. Yet, in the story of Adam and Eve, we can tell that even though God was angry at humans, he still had the love in his heart towards them. So, expelling them from their comfort zone was merely a punishment and not a form of hatred.
Meanwhile, the absence of love brings about destruction, most especially when the grace of God ceases, and this was evident in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah.
God unleashed his hatred and anger on the evil generation, but, while in their midst, God saved Lot’s family. They benefited from the love God had towards Abraham.
Fast-forward to the time of Christ. According to Matthew 22:36-40, his disciples asked him what the greatest commandment was, to which he told them to love the Lord their God with all their hearts and soul. And to also love their neighbors as themselves.
This same love is evident in John 3:16 where God sacrificed His son Jesus to serve as a penance for the sins of mankind.
Just as God has shown us a perfect example of love and how to show love, we also must learn to live and show love to others at all times.
Love is the only evidence of God in us. It is the only means by which we can identify as Christlike in these perilous times.
Being a Christian means living a life similar to that of Christ Jesus. As a Christian, you must not only profess Christianity and Jesus, but each of us must strive to show the world around us that we are in him as he is in us.
We are evidence of the existence and victory of Christ Jesus on the cross of Calvary. And what better way to show this than to love our fellow humans unconditionally, just as Christ did?
Here are some ways we can show love to someone as a true born-again Christian.
1. Kindness and Generosity
Kindness is a key quality of the Christian. It is a trait exhibited by Jesus Christ in his lifetime.
And as Christians, we must always be kind to our neighbors. We must be willing to show them gestures of kindness at all times, and we must do this unconditionally.
A kind person is not selfish or greedy. He reaches out to others in need at all times.
As a Christian, your kindness and generosity should not be limited by your social profile, and it must not be limited by race either. We are all humans, all the same irrespective of our color, geographical disposition, economic background, or family baggage.
We must be willing to help anyone who needs assistance in any way, within our capability. This is how we show true love. Let us learn to love in deeds and not in words alone 1 John 3:17-18.
2. Humility and Tolerance
God hates pride; Proverbs 11:2 and Proverbs 16:5 stress this enough. A proud person will find it difficult to love and tolerate his fellow man.
As humans, we are all made to possess different interests, skills, behavior, and thoughts. And these individual differences will contradict that of our fellow man at one point or the other. So, as Christians, for us to live in harmony with our neighbors, we must be humble and not make them feel inferior to us or regard ourselves as superior to them. We must also learn to tolerate everyone. This doesn’t mean we condone sinful behavior. Instead, this means we lead with love, approaching others, regardless of their lifestyle, with the same kindness and love of Christ.
Our humility and tolerance are how we can show people we truly love them. Colossians 3:12-13
3. Genuinely Forgive and Make Peace
What is love when you won’t forgive your neighbor?
If God can forgive us as many times as we sin against him Daniel 9:9, we also must learn to forgive one another.
True love naturally outweighs grudges and is sufficient for us to let go of any offense in our hearts.
Our inability to forgive easily hurts others and ourselves, placing us in a situation where we no longer trust one another.
When we learn to forgive, we create a peaceful and safe atmosphere in which love reigns.
4. Being Considerate, Patient, and Understanding
The best way we can coexist with one another in peace and love is by being considerate and patient with one another. Truthfully, we are all different, and we are special in our unique way, and we all have different expectations from each other. However, we must be very understanding and considerate of these expectations.
As Christians, we must be patient when dealing with others. Most especially when they are falling short of our expectations.
The love in our hearts for our neighbors should outweigh our expectations from them; this will make it much easier for us to overlook their shortcomings and live in harmony with them.
5. Being Respectful, Honest, and Loyal
We can show love to our neighbors by giving the respect they deserve, just as we are advised in the book of 1 Peter 2:17. As Christians, we must learn to treat our fellow humans the way we wish to be treated. This is the teaching of Christ seen in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.
Honesty towards our neighbors is also very important in showing our love for them. We must not be deceitful. Rather, be frank (not rude, but frank) and transparent in conversation. We should also learn to be honest about our thoughts and expectations.
Let your yes be yes and no be no. This way, others can understand what we stand for and what we are against, and our cohabitation with them will be a lot easier and more peaceful.
Loyalty is also necessary for our relationship with others. We should learn to stand by them and assure them that they can count on us when hard circumstances arise. By doing this, we will show them we truly love them and care about them.
Love is not measured by how much we profess it, but by how much we show it. It does not matter if we keep telling people we love them and fail to show them the love in our actions and attitude towards them.
Our relationship with everyone around us should be guided by love. Irrespective of our background and other differences, we must always let love lead in all our affairs.
As born-again Christians, the abundance of love in our hearts is evidence of the existence of the Holy Spirit in us. The book of Galatians 5:22 identifies love as one of the fruits of the Spirit, and we must always share this love with our fellow man, just as God in heaven did for us.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/BrianAJackson
Emmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.