“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments”, Matthew 22:36-40.
Most of us know these words by heart, but do not always fulfill the “greatest commandment”. It is hard sometimes to love in a way that God expects from us (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). So, today I will give you some tips that will teach you how to live out God’s unconditional love, thus making you and people around happy.
1. By getting up in the morning, making a decision to show gratitude to God through a supportive and friendly attitude towards others.I advise that every morning, you thank God that He has given us the opportunity to wake up, that He keeps us safe and helps in achieving our goals. Ask God for the chance to express this gratitude towards others. Use every day that God gives you to multiply the love and goodness, and do not allow yourself to think negatively of anyone.“… keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8 (Contemp. Eng. Version). Take care of not being ungrateful towards God and other people.
2. Practice compassion and empathy. It is important to be able to be in other people’s shoes. Even if everything is going wrong in your life, try to imagine those who suffer even more: someone has a drug addicted child, an alcoholic husband, cancer or major problems at work. Think what would happen if it was you in their shoes.. In your morning prayer do not forget those who suffer more than you do. This helps us to develop compassion for others. “Compassion is the real source of true justice and humanity,” Arthur Schopenhauer.
3. Usually, the reason we may not understand another person is because we have different world views, experiences and attitudes to life. While communicating with people it is important to find not what divides us, but what unites us, not to built walls, but bridges. I suggest you to practice the following 10 golden steps that will help us to be more friendly and positive towards other people, not to condemn them, but to try to understand them.
When you look at somebody, stop and think that:
- This person is seeking joy, as I am.
- This person wants to avoid pain and trouble, just as I do.
- This person also had hard times of suffering and bitterness in his life.
- This person is seeking solutions to his problems as I am.
- This person is learning to live and understand life as I am.
- This person is trying to understand God and serve Him as I am.
- This person is not perfect, just as I am not.
- This person wants to be accepted and understood as much as I do.
- This person wants to love and be loved, just as I do.
- This person has something that I do not have, and on the contrary, I have something that he does not have. I need him and he needs me. We need each other.
These 10 points help us to treat others with an open mind, confidence and fairness, in order to accept each other with love.“Great men cultivate love… only little men cherish a spirit of hatred”, Booker T. Washington.
4. Practice compassion; sensitivity to the needs and sufferings of others. Try not just to see, but to experience those pains, sorrows and troubles that people pass through, and to help them as fast as you can.“Indeed there is nothing better in life than helping one another and mutual joy,” John Damascene.
5. Practice warmhearted relationships. Notice each other, smile, give compliments, and say kind and inspirational words. Be the first to help. Always be in a friendly mood. “A man has as much life as kindness”, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
6. Show love to those who treat you negatively, irritate or offend you. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near”, Philippians 4:5. We must love our enemies and look at them through the eyes of Jesus. Go to the people who hurt, irritated or cursed you and show them practical love. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?”, Matthew 5:43-46
7. Every night before going to bed, think of the word given yourself in the morning – to love everyone and treat people with understanding. Analyze how you managed to keep that word. Try to remember the people with whom you made contact during the day. What was your attitude towards them? Were you able to accept them as mentioned above? What stopped you from doing it before? Keep practicing these skills every day. And, certainly, it will be much easier for you to love people than it has ever been.
Let us look at the world with love. It is important for us that we do so. Scientific studies prove that good hearted people get sick less and live longer. Let Jesus Christ be seen to people through our active actions, regardless of how we are treated. God bless you in this!
For a deeper studying of this topic the following literature is recommended:
“Do Good is Always Beneficial”, “All-Conquering Love”, “Kingdom of Love”, “A Grateful Heart”, “Celebrate people”.
Bless you, love you and always pray for you!
Senior Pastor of the Embassy of the “Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations”
Translated by Yevheniya Pustova
Edited by Kizito Leacock