MM00049 Loving people
Mentoring Manna: Loving People
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Matthew 22:37-40 “Jesus said to him, ‘"You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.’”
We cannot love God and then ignore God’s command to love people. 1 John 4:21 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” Loving God and loving people go hand in hand. God expects us to love people as a way of influencing them toward Himself. But how do we demonstrate God’s love to people?
First, serving people. In Mark 9:35 Jesus says, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Look for opportunities to help those around you. Practical and thoughtful acts of service are a great way to open people to the Gospel.
Second, give to people on purpose. Generous giving to others breaks down walls and builds relationships. Give good and meaningful gifts rather than garage sale items. Do not give with strings attached. Any sense of manipulation will destroy relationships.
Third, honor people. Philippians 2:13 tells us to esteem others better than ourselves. Look for good and worthy contributions that people make. Be extravagant, not measured, with your praise. Be sincere so as to avoid flattery. Avoid being negative. The world loves to “cut down” but Christians are called to “build up.”
Fourth, show interest in people. Philippians 2:14 says, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Notice people and go out of your way to talk to them. Introduce yourself and remember their name. Steer conversations away from yourself to others. Put the interests of others before your own. Be excited about what others are excited about.
Fifth, encourage people. 1 Corinthians 13:7 declares, “love believes all things.” Lift people up by encouraging their faith. Faith is contagious in a world full of doubt and unbelief. Believe in people. God does. Build them up with your words and actions. Believe in people even when they appear to be failures.
Sixth, appreciate people. Be thankful to the people around you. Thankfulness tells people that you have noticed what they have done. The small amount of time it takes to send a note, make a call, or speak a personal comment of thanks will communicate love and make that relationship to grow stronger.
Seventh, smile at people. Proverbs 15:30 says, “The light of the eyes rejoices the heart.” Your smile communicates that you are glad the person is around. Smiling attracts people to us. Sinners are 20% more likely to respond to your witness of Christ if you smile at them. The world is full of gloom and doom, but you are a pilgrim in this world who is on your way to heaven. Act like it, and look like it.
Application: Loving people is one of the most blessed and agonizing dilemma’s we face. Honestly, the toughest challenge in life can be to love people. The problem is usually caused by focusing on our needs rather than on the needs of others. We must get the focus off of ourselves so that we might become an instrument of God’s love. We must allow Him to love others through us. We must see people the way God sees people. We must put ourselves in their shoes and understand why they are like they are. We need to feel their pain. We must show compassion by meeting true needs in real and practical ways. This saying is true: “People do not care what you know until they know that you care.” Do we love them? If they know it, then it is possible they will listen.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, help me love my neighbor. Help me to see them the way You see them. Help me to feel their pain as You feel it. Help me to care the way You care. Help me to be moved with Your compassion. May others see and experience Your love through my life. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Grace Fellowship P.O. Box 260 Rusk, Texas 75785 (903) 683-6550
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