Site Overlay

How to Love

October 9, 2018

      Hey guys- I wrote this recently for school and thought I would share. I’ve always wanted to know how to “love everybody” as goes the saying that is so frequently used in the church. When I heard more about this topic, I thought to share what I learned. So, here ya go! Thanks for reading!

      Growing up in Christian faith, in a Christian family, and a predominantly Christian community at King’s Ridge, I have been recited the most important commandment a thousand times, at least: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22: 37-39, NIV). I accepted this commandment when I accepted Jesus into my heart. In fact, I really believed in it. It makes sense that Jesus’ top priority would be for us to lead a loving relationship with the Father and then extend love to everyone else, out of the overflow of our relationship with God. It’s natural that when we receive love and really absorb it, we can then share it with others. However, a concept I never seemed to be able to grasp was this: how in the world am I supposed to love everyone, absolutely everyone, like I love myself? Sure, I could accept the truth of Jesus’ commandment. I could listen to the preachers preach the message time and time again, but I never fully understood how I could make this principle the foundation of my life like it needs to be.

Jesus has given us, his followers, one commandment. Just one. That in itself is worthy of praise that the Creator, the Savior only requires one expectation of us. Under the one commandment of love, everything else lies. It wasn’t until I was sitting third row in a North Point Community Church 11 a.m. service that I learned how to love everyone like I love myself. Clay Scroggins was speaking about the movie Wonder, and his main focus was the following: to love others well, we must first know their past experiences. Thus, for us to look into others and see ourselves, for us to sympathize and rationalize our similarities and differences, we must take the time to understand people’s past and where they are in their life. By doing so, we can love them to our best abilities; we can love them like we love ourselves.

            We all fall short of the glory of God. Sometimes, it is easy to think we fall less short of His glory than others. Sometimes, we think we fall much shorter of His glory. However, that thinking is dangerous and not true. No matter how much we mess up and no matter what our past is, we all have a gap between our human inadequacy and God’s righteousness. The size of the gap is unimportant. In comparison, let’s say you are out getting a morning coffee, and you go up to the cashier to purchase it. However, you find that you forgot your wallet and don’t have any money to pay for it; therefore, you cannot buy it. Let’s take the same circumstance but this time you are short only one dollar needed to buy the coffee, you still don’t get the coffee. No matter how big the gap is, we are all equally undeserving of salvation on our own. All of this goes to say that the most important thing we can practice when loving others is recognizing that we aren’t above anyone else. When we take the truth to heart that we are all equal in our dependence on Christ, we can see ourselves in others. We can love others as ourselves through the mindset that we each need God’s love the same.

            To see ourselves in others, we must prioritize the time needed to understand their experiences. This is the key to loving others well. Once we can understand what they have been through, light shines into the darkness of confusion that makes it hard to love others well. When there is misunderstanding on why a person acts or talks a certain way, that confusion greatly hinders our ability to love that person. When we limit our view of people to our own assumptions about their behavior and past, we ultimately limit our capacity to love them. To look inside others and see our own similarities and differences is just another way of saying the second half of the greatest commandment: to love others as you love yourself. Therefore, what do we do moving forward in the mindset that being a follower of Christ requires us to love others as we love ourselves?

            The game plan for loving others well is simple. We have to live intentionally with the desire to look inside others and see ourselves. First, we have to recognize our equal dependency on Christ as others. Second, we must do our best to understand where others are coming from, their backgrounds and past experiences. Lastly, we have to put aside our preconceived assumptions and opinions and purposely intend to love others through the lense provided by the first and second step. Once we take the time to understand others, we can see past our differences and focus on our main similarity: our dependence on Christ. As followers, there is no time to waste in figuring this out and pondering different game plans; it is time to make this game plan the foundation of our lives. If everyone lived out their created purpose of loving the Father and everyone else, the world would have no pain, problems, or imperfection. By intentionally choosing to love others, each kind act, word of encouragement, and relationship will be one step in the direction of a better world, the kind of world God intended to create.

Copyright © 2024 Embody³: An invitation to EFIL . All Rights Reserved. | SimClick by Catch Themes