Not everyone is capable of expressing affection to others. Some people find it hard to treat their families, friends, colleagues, or even partners right, making others think they do not know love. Are you one of them?
If you are a Christian who struggles to be more loving to the people around you, it is time to review what the Bible says about love. How do you treat others in a loving way? How can you show care to them?
Check out what the famous 1 Corinthians 13 passage says about loving others:
1. Be Patient with Them.
Some people are hard to love because they can be annoying or toxic. However, we should remember that we have our own flaws too, and the Bible tells us to love the unlovable (Matthew 5:43-48, Luke 6:27). To succeed in doing this, we must be patient with them. Be more understanding to these people and pray that God will help them change.
“Love is patient..” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
2. Be Kind Always.
It is not easy to be nice to people always, especially if you are stressed and fed up with your situation. However, the Bible reminds us to treat others kindly. Just like you, everyone is fighting their own battles. That is why the world needs a little bit more kindness. You have no idea how a small act of kindness can help lessen the pain of someone in grief or despair.
“…love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
3. Do Not be Insecure with Them.
Jealousy and envy will cause you to hate others. If you are insecure with other people because you think they are more successful than you, it means you struggle with pride. On the other hand, love will make you celebrate others’ success because you genuinely wish them well. In short, loving others means not thinking of them as your rivals.
“It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4)
4. Treat Them with Respect.
Respect is another vital element in love. It is acknowledging their right to be different from you. If you love someone, you will not dishonor or disrespect them even if you have opposing views and ways. You will avoid offending them by applying kindness, patience, and humility when trying to win them. In addition, you have to be careful not to shame or embarrass them in any way.
“It does not dishonor others,” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
5. Be Selfless.
The Bible says love is not self-seeking. It means that you always have to put the interests of others before yours. For instance, you should not insist on your plans and suggestions if you are the only one who will benefit from them. You have to consider the welfare of others before your own ambitions. Well, it is not bad to pursue your dreams, but it must be not at the expense of your relationship with the people you care about.
“…it is not self-seeking,” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
6. Do Not Be Angry Easily.
As mentioned in no. 1, you have to be patient with people. Therefore, practice self-control when dealing with difficult people. Avoid being hot-tempered since it will cause you to offend people and even burn bridges. Tame your tongue whenever you are confronted with a misunderstanding. Moreover, do not let your emotion overcome you. Wisely respond instead of reacting to arguments to prevent conflicts from getting bigger.
“…it is not easily angered,” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
7. Forget About Their Past Mistakes.
Loving others the biblical way means being willing to release forgiveness no matter how hurt you are. This is not easy, but as you submit your heart to the Lord. For complete healing, you need to surrender your pain and hatred to God by forgiving those who hurt you. And when you forgive someone, it means choosing to forget their mistakes, not bringing them up again in your future misunderstanding.
“…it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5)
8. Do Not Tolerate Wrongdoings.
If you truly love someone, you will not tolerate their mistakes. You will rebuke and correct them when necessary because you do not want them to live in sin. As a fellow Christian, you will help them get right with God again. They may initially hate you, but one day they will be thankful for your tough love that helps them be on the right track again.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13: 6)
9. Protect Them.
Love will compel you to protect those people dear to you. First, there is that commitment to do your best to keep them safe from harm. Also, it means standing by their side no matter what and staying even when others have left. Moreover, it will require you the courage to defend them against malicious slanders and rumors. Even if you have discovered their dark secrets—and you are against them—you will control the urge to gossip about them. Finally, of course, you will pray for them regularly since entrusting them to God is the best way you can protect them.
“It always protects,” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
10. Choose to Trust Them.
While you should only put your entire trust in God, it is also essential to have faith in your relationship with people. Yes, you know they are not perfect and have the tendency to hurt you somehow, but love is worth it. Treat the people you love with grace, understanding that no one is perfect, even you. Of course, it is best to surrender your relationships to God, asking for guidance on how you should deal with offenses and misunderstandings. In the same way, you should ask Him for strength and wisdom to avoid betraying those who trust you.
“…always trusts,” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
11. Do Not Give Up Easily on Them.
Just like how God does not give up on you no matter how many times you mess up, love will keep you hopeful in the people you value. Do not walk away from them too quickly. Try to be more patient and understanding. Pray for them daily, believing that nothing is impossible with the Lord. He can change lives and heal broken hearts.
“…always hopes,” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
12. Persevere in Caring for Them.
In connection with no. 11, give your best in loving people. Remember, life is short. Before it is too late, take every opportunity to spend time with those you love. Serve them and be more generous. Be available whenever they need someone to talk to or care for them. Always remember that your loved ones are worth the time, effort, resources, and sacrifices. Never regret spending these on them.
“…always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Be Connected to the Author of Love
If you want to improve how you show love to the people you care about, seek help from God Himself. Remember, He is the author of love, so He has the power to change hearts. Draw closer to Him by studying His Word, connecting with Him through prayers, and seeking to do His will. And once you realize that you live to represent Christ, loving others will become easier. With the power of the Holy Spirit at work, you will begin to reflect Christ in your life.
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