“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18: 16-19 NV
God’s Word says we must love like Jesus. Is that even possible? How do we do that? As I searched this out, I came across something that was very helpful. I want to share it with you.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Dr. Les Parrott, in his book, Love Like That, describes “5 Actionable Ways to Love Like Jesus”.
Be mindful. We need to connect more deeply with our lives and the people in them, rather than living a detached, disconnected existence.
Be approachable. It’s important for people to feel safe approaching us; in other words, we must become less exclusive in our interactions with others and more welcoming to those who seek us out.
Be full of grace. We must be willing to relate to others in a less judgmental way.
Be bold. We have to shed our fears, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7, ESV).
Be self-giving. We need to become less self-absorbed and more invested in those around us.
These guideline helped me immensely, especially the first, “Be Mindful”. I am quiet and somewhat shy. I guess that’s why I like to write. It’s the easiest way for me to share my thoughts with others.
Over 40 years ago someone said to me, “You’re really nice. I used to think you were a snob.” I will never forget those words. They are imprinted on my brain forever. I was so shocked that anyone would think that about me!
As I look back on my life, I can see why someone might think that. I’m quiet and don’t readily express what I’m thinking. I may have something helpful to share in a conversation, but keep it to myself. I think this is because I’m afraid of what they will think. (But we’ll save that for another post!)
Dr. Parrott encourages us to connect more deeply with people rather than living a detached existence. It is so easy to become detached when you are shy, especially if you have found an outlet like writing to fill your need for expression. Honestly, I thought this was just the way it is and would always be. But now, I believe God is doing something new in me.
As I shared these thoughts with my daughter Christina, she reminded me that the world needs listeners as well as talkers. (I hadn’t really thought of that!) She told me that I am a good listener.
I share that because it’s easy to get down on yourself and see all your weaknesses and faults. Don’t do that. God loves you and knows you very well. Trust Him to make you the person He wants you to be, a person more like Christ.
I am going to pray that I become more mindful and more involved in the lives of persons I see on a regular basis as well as the ones I don’t. This won’t be easy for me, but I plan to give consideration to how I can become more involved in other lives. Then I plan to take specific steps to accomplish my goal.
By doing this, I hope to learn how to love like Jesus. Won’t you join me in this quest?
With Love, Cindy
P.S. The photo is of my daughter, Christina, who spent 6 months last year working at a children’s hospital in Africa.
“Now, I know in my experience that Jesus’ light is stronger than the biggest darkness.”
Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker who became a heroine of the Resistance, a survivor of Hitler’s concentration camps, and one of the most remarkable evangelists of the twentieth century. In World War II she and her family risked their lives to help Jews and underground workers escape from the Nazis, and for their work they were tested in the infamous Nazi death camps. Only Corrie among her family survived to tell the story of how faith ultimately triumphs over evil.
You can read Corrie’s story in her book, The Hiding Place.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV
If Jesus was hungry, would you buy Him a meal? If Jesus was thirsty, would you give Him a glass of water? Of course you would!
Jesus explains that when we have compassion on “the least”, it is like we are doing it for Him. It is not more impressive to God to help important people. If you are teaching a Sunday School class to children, or if you are a school teacher, or if you are a mother, you are doing it “unto the least”.
There is no glory in teaching your own kids, no glory in teaching a children’s Sunday School class, no glory in being a school teacher, and no glory in caring for children with disabilities. But, Jesus said,
“… whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
It may not seem like you are serving Jesus when you care for the children in your midst, but you are. Compassion is a result of knowing Jesus. Just as compassion flows from Him, it will flow from you.
Understand then, that your service to the least is of great importance to God. Never think that caring for children is not important. It is! Whether they are the children in your church, children you don’t know, or your own children, it is very important to God.
This is just one aspect of this parable, but it is an important one. I know this parable doesn’t only apply to children, but I want to highlight it as an encouragement to everyone who devotes their time to teaching our children. Do it with all your heart, as unto the Lord. Consider Jesus’ words:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40 NIV