Loving Others First
One thing in life that’s really easy to do is seeing the faults in others.
It’s easy to judge, criticize, hold grudges, get irritated, assume.
It’s easy to worry about yourself and get lost in your own little tangle of messes without thinking about someone else’s.
It’s easy to assume that the guy who cut you off in the intersection is an absolute jerk.
It’s easy to believe that the coworker who got the raise didn’t really deserve it.
It’s easy to think that the girl who let gossip slip out of her mouth is a bad person.
It’s easy to conclude that a person with a rough past will never change.
It’s easy to justify why you have a right to hold grudges and never forgive.
It’s easy to hate.
Understand that God used these broken, sinful, and corrupted people to save and change lives. King David (a murderer, adulterer, and deceptor), Paul (a murderer, harasser, and persecutor of Christians), Peter (a three-time denier of Jesus), Rahab (a prostitute) - He used these hopeless, downcast people, and He loved them. With absolutely everything He had.
And because of that love, those people’s lives were changed.
Because of love, they were used in extraordinary ways.
Because of love, they were saved.
Now imagine, just for a second, what it would be like if you showed just one person that kind of love. You looked past their faults, their mistakes, and their past, and you just loved them. Imagine the power behind that love.
The absolute best thing you can do is to get someone to shine. It’s wanting the best for other people. It’s loving them.
Understand that there is more to life than what runs skin deep. We build up these physical barriers from one another or leave up walls from the past. Understand that everyone has a story. Everyone has been shaped into who they are for a reason. You could be the one to bring out the best in another.
God told us that the greatest commandment of all is to love. Don’t ignore what He so clearly and boldly speaks to us. He did not intend for that.
Fully living is loving God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself. Love other people like God loves us.
You are not perfect. I am not perfect. No one is. But yet there is a God that lets us stumble over and over again and has no problem picking us back up each time. There are things He does for us that are never returned with a thank you. There are times He tries to speak to us and we ignore Him. There are moments we doubt and question Him, yet he still calls us His children and tells us that His love will never be separated from us.
That is powerful. That is an example.
Make yourself available.
Think about it. We all become consumed with ourselves. We worry about what we’ll wear in the morning, what we’ll eat during the day, what we’ll accomplish in the classroom or on the field or at work. We worry about how we are perceived by others.
What if we thought about others as much as we think about ourselves? Wouldn’t that be life-changing for both you and those around you?
Expose yourself. Embrace other people.
Pray for other people. Each night I write in a journal, and every time I encounter someone in need of encouragement or even those who don’t think they need it but I know they do, I write them down and say a prayer for them. There is power in that.
Prayer is one of the most powerful ways to show love toward another.
There is power in Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Smile. Say hello. Hold open the door. Make conversation. Compliment. Give something. Pay for a meal. Leave a nice note. Let someone leave the parking lot first. Be selfless.
Treat everyone as a brother or sister (that you get along with of course), because we all are children of God.
As the Bible tells us, we can be employee of the month or valedictorian, we can get that promotion, we can win five Olympic gold medals, we can win the Nobel Peace Prize. We can have thousands of followers and gain fame and fortune. We can win the lottery (well, maybe). We can get that scholarship. We can get that raise. But none of this matters, none of this attainment, none of these achievements, none of this notoriety or money will ever matter if we don’t love.
Choose to love today. Love others first.