Learning to love like Jesus is the easiest and most difficult undertaking I have ever tried.
On the one hand, I just had to vocally request for God to let me see the world as He does. This is only half of the answer. The other half I have to work on every day.
Love is a verb. It requires action. Jesus was constantly doing things for people. This is how we can love like Jesus, as he commanded.
Love One Another
“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.” – John 13:34
Discerning true Christians from those who give lip service to God can be difficult. After posting Defining Christians, it was brought up that Jesus said we can discern His followers by love.
This is true. The three roles passed to Christians by Jesus (prophet, priest, and king) should all be practiced with love.
How Do We Love Like Jesus?
What is love? Too many people have misconceptions about it. Some believe that love is an emotion felt when in the company of a lover. That is one kind of love, but the Greek word for this love was Eros.
Other people believe love is genuine care for another, like a sibling or a family member. This love was known as Philos to the Greeks.
To love like Jesus is called Agape. It is an unconditional love. Agape does not give ultimatums, it keeps no record of wrongs, and there’s no limit to how much love there is. Love like a parent has for their children, but on a God scale.
Stop! (In The Name of Love)
How then should we love? As God would have us, unconditionally. In Matthew 18:21-22, Jesus commands Peter to forgive not just 7 times, but 70 times 7 times. Curiously, the answer 490 my hold some deeper implications, but you can read about that here.
Yelling at people for what you perceive is their sin is not how Jesus called us to love. Remember the story of the woman caught having an affair in John 8? Jesus could have stuck with the law and told the crowd to stone her.
Instead, he challenged the crowd that if anyone was without sin, let them cast the first stone. One by one, the accusers left. When Jesus asked the woman if there were any accusers left, she told them there were none.
Then he displayed grace and mercy, telling her he would not condemn her either. We should love like Jesus.
Do Everything In Love
When you stop to see the world as Jesus saw it, enemies become brothers and sisters. Monsters become broken people. Addicts become desperate humans.
When you see the world through His eyes, it becomes increasingly difficult to do nothing. It is impossible not to want to love like Jesus.
Do everything in love and life isn’t so bad. It doesn’t change your position or predicament in life, but it does change your perspective.
Change your view, and your emotions change. I know, I’ve done it. I used to think that the world was against me, but Jesus helped me see that God is with me. If God is with me, who can hope to stand against me?
“Do everything in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14