How to Love Like Jesus
Some people are quite easy to love.
These relationships may encompass our spouse or children, our best friends, and often those who are naturally kind to us.
But what about the people we encounter, close by or at a distance, who are, simply put, hard to love?
God’s Word is filled with stories and lessons of His affection for us. He continually extends mercy and grace, proves His faithfulness in every season, and gives us the greatest gift of love: Jesus.
Jesus didn’t only come as our Savior. He came to show and teach us how to live on earth as it is in heaven. He showed us how to resist temptation, how to live lives of flourishing, and how to love our neighbor without constraint as we love ourselves.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 NIV
So how do we go about loving fully in a world full of brokenness?
A Reflection of Christ
Do you ever have moments where you subconsciously say or do things your spouse or closest friend says?
That’s because the more time we spend with someone, the more our mannerisms, responses, and speech will reflect or mirror their speech or behaviors. And the same goes for the time we spend with Christ.
“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.” 1 John 4:17 NIV
This doesn’t mean that we will be like Jesus, but we are like Jesus.
As we spend time in God’s Word and seek His presence, we are transformed! The Holy Spirit who dwells in us is made known to those in our spheres of influence, and we have the privilege of reflecting the very heart of Jesus to those who need it most.
Do Not Fear
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV
Let’s be honest; relationships are scary.
With the potential for disappointment and lack of trust, it can be difficult to be open and transparent with those we love, let alone the rest of the world. However, God promises that when we love each other, love will cast out fear.
Because of this, we can love freely.
Regardless of our fears or trepidations, we can choose love and believe that as we place our trust in God, He is faithful.
He First Loved Us
God showed us what true unconditional love means when He sacrificed His only Son so that we could be restored to His heart.
What a good Father we have that He is not asking us to do something He hasn’t already done Himself.
My friend, I pray you take heart – we can love because He loved first (1 John 4:19). We can embrace patience, kindness, truth, and love that overflows from our being. His love flows through us, and this love is to be reflected to those around us, both the easy to love and the most challenging. For it is with the most challenging relationships that God presents Himself.
God embraces us with unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness, and we are called to reflect His attributes on those He places before us.
To Love Like Jesus
Beloved daughter, if you are struggling with resentment and unresolved pain towards someone, I encourage you to ask God to help you love. Surrender the bitterness, pain, and hurt. I can’t think of a better time to come before Him in surrender, letting go of anything hindering your spiritual walk. Then, spend time in prayer praying for the one who is a challenge to love. Remember the words in Luke 23:34, where Jesus shared with His Father as He hung on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
To love like Jesus is to love without expectation or reciprocation of love or appreciation.
To love like Jesus is to show unconditional love, grace, and forgiveness.
To love like Jesus is to reflect patience, kindness, honor, and trust.
We don’t have to love perfectly; we just have to rely on the One who shows us what it really means to love one another.
May you embrace the full love of Christ and extend this love to someone today.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV