How will we win the hearts of our friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors for Christ? Not just by sharing the Good News of the Gospel, but also by being living examples of what Jesus told us to do: Love others as much as you love yourself!
In John 13:35, Jesus says, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”1 That doesn’t necessarily seem too hard, but for a word that we use so often, when you think about it, love is actually quite difficult to pin down. You understand it through actions. What would you be willing to do to show love to those around you?
The other day I read a very interesting article about the Feynman Technique, which promises to help you learn anything in four steps. It intrigued me, as I enjoy learning and jump at any opportunity to make the process easier. The article says that Feynman tried to always explain complex ideas in the simplest terms.1
Loving others can be extremely difficult at times. A common phrase to refer to those people that we consistently find ourselves challenged to love is “extra grace required” people. But even people we generally like can sometimes be difficult to love. The main reason we run into difficulties in loving others is sin, both ours and that of those we try to love. … Battling both our own selfishness and sin tendencies and dealing with the selfishness and sin tendencies of others can make love a chore.
About six years ago we moved to a new neighborhood. Since arriving, we’ve tried to be friendly with our neighbors and show kindness. We greet them with a smile, ask how they are, and several times we prepared pizza and delivered it to them as a sign of friendship. We thought we were doing well in showing our neighbors we care. But then we met Nilda.
I read once that a good father prepares us for our relationship with our heavenly Father, God.
My father may not realize it, but one thing that shaped my life was a conversation he and I had sitting on a hill overlooking our home the summer I was 18. He probably doesn’t even remember it—so simple and yet so typical of him and his wise and loving way of guiding me without overtly giving advice.
Clark and Mary were in love. Clark proposed marriage, and Mary accepted. But it wasn’t as simple as that. Clark knew that to have a happy and harmonious marriage, he needed to win the approval of Mary’s parents, Clarence and Goldie—especially Goldie. He’d heard how mothers-in-law could be, you know, a little difficult. He braced himself and hoped for the best.
There is a story about two brothers who enlisted in the army during World War I and were assigned to the same unit. They were soon sent to the frontline trenches. In WWI trench warfare, each side dug a network of trenches along the frontline of their territory, then laid siege to the other side’s trenches. From time to time, one side or the other launched an offensive to try to break through the enemy’s lines.
Jesus gave us the key to true purpose and harmony when He said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”1 What does that mean, in practical, everyday terms? One of the best explanations ever given is found in the Bible’s “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13. Times and terms may have changed, but the underlying principles are as true as ever. Here’s a paraphrased version of 1 Corinthians 13 for today.
Every year, at Christmastime, my husband has to endure my private tradition of watching Love, Actually.1 The movie weaves together several stories in an entirely predictable, mushy way. But each time I watch it I am touched by a different part of the story. I try to get my husband excited about this, but he is not having it! I know this makes me a bit sappy, but I just don’t get how someone can’t be drawn in by this display of love, tenderness and warmth.
As My Father sent Me, so send I you. I send you out into a world of hurt and loss, pain and suffering, heartbreak and loneliness, need and yearning, so you can give this lost and lonely world what I have given you. Freely give of My love, compassion, and understanding to those who need it so desperately.