Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loves us. He said in John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
This commandment appears in several other places in the New Testament such as in John 13:34, John 15:12, John 15:17, Romans 13:8, 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:22 , 1 John 3:11, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:11-12, and 2 John 5.
Loving others is obviously a big deal; it’s one of the greatest commandments, and it’s at the core of Christianity. But how do we do it?
I previously did a word study on love and learned that biblical love is mostly action. The question now is, what actions demonstrate love for one another?
Thankfully God didn’t make it a mystery or guesswork. On the contrary, He left us a detailed guide with practical ways we can love one another as He loves us. Here are a few things you can do to love others, and also how Jesus did these things for us.
All Scriptures are taken from the English Standard Version unless noted otherwise.
“Love is patient, love is kind…
You love others by encouraging them. When you encourage someone, you give them courage, support, and hope. You help them go through their trials and keep moving forward. A word of encouragement can make such a vast difference in others’ lives, and we have an unlimited supply of it.
Jesus exemplified it many times with His disciples, as illustrated in John 14:1, John 14:27, John 16:33. He still encourages and comforts us today, and He wants us to comfort others as well (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
“Therefore encourage one another with these words. ” – 1 Thessalonians 4:18
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” – Hebrews 3:13
“…it does not envy…”
Show love by praying for others, friends, and enemies alike. When you lift others before God, it shows you think about them, cares about their needs, and want the best for them.
When Jesus walked the earth, He regularly prayed for others. He prayed for His disciples and all believers in John 17. And He also prayed for His enemies, even the ones who crucified Him (Luke 23:34).
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16
“…it does not boast, it is not proud…”
Loving others means putting them above yourself. C.S Lewis said, “humility is not thinking less of you, but thinking of you less.” You can act humbly towards others by listening to them, not blaming them for your mistakes, accepting their critique or reproach, receiving their help, considering them, showing interest in them, and not thinking or acting like you are better or more important than them.
Jesus humbled Himself to become human and die on the cross (Philippians 2:8), He was humble towards His earthly parents and obeyed them (Luke 2:51). He never exalted Himself, He listened to others’ concern, and always thought of them more.
“submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:21
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3
“…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” – 1 Peter 5:5