Do you know that you can demonstrate God’s love to others? He created us in His image, and as such, we can say that we are love. Now that sounds unrealistic, right? Yes!
Because every day, there are a thousand and one reasons to not love the next person; it can be particularly hard when you come across someone who seems unlovable; through their harsh words against you, or even their actions, and you wonder how you can ever love this person.
If you’ve ever found yourself in that situation, you are not alone. But the good news is that, if God can love you and me with all our shortcomings, and issues, we can ask him to help us love others the same way. It will not always feel good because it will be a struggle to overcome the selfish nature we have to automatically protect ourselves and to retaliate, but that doesn’t make it impossible. Below are 15 ways to help you demonstrate God’s love.
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Show Kindness Regardless of the Situation
One of the perfect examples of this is when Jesus stopped his disciples from fighting those against him as recounted in Matthew 26: 51. They chopped off a man’s ear but he had to stop them. Regardless of that situation, Jesus showed kindness (by healing the man by giving him back his ear, miraculously, as some versions claimed). Yes, it’s hard, but it goes to show how much of God’s love you have in you.
So, demonstrate the love of God by showing kindness regardless of the situation. No one said love would be easy. We are not focusing on the easy to love, but those seemingly unlovable people who you run into time after time. Make a decision in your head and heart that you will show that person the love of God through kindness regardless of their reaction. Do this enough times and you will begin to see the power of love in action. Slowly, that cold barrier will start to dissolve.
Be Deliberate About Loving Others in Words and Actions
This could have been the first point, right? Yes; to love some people, you have to become conscious of the fact that love is the only option. Hate is never an alternative. Let that show in your words and actions towards people. Once you decide how you will do this, the actual acts of love will become easier and you will begin to feel joy about how you are positively impacting others for Christ.
Yes, our feelings may come and go; the feeling of how the person has hurt us (and still hurting us) is a good enough reason to never love them, but just like C.S. Lewis puts it, “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not”. So should our love for others, regardless of how we feel about them.
Be Slow to Anger
I love how the Good News Translation of Ephesians 4: 26 puts it, “If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.” It says ‘if’, meaning it is better not to even be angry in the first place, but if (conditionally) you ever become angry, don’t let it lead you to sin, and don’t stay angry all day.
Being slow to anger is another demonstration of the love of God. There are times when you may be tired and not have much patience, but remember that God shows us mercy every day, and we need to do the same for our fellow brothers and sisters.
Learn to Forgive and Forget it will Demonstrate God’s love
Tell me about it, right? This is one of the hardest shows of God’s love towards mankind. Have you ever wondered how God felt when David plotted to have Uriah killed, just to have his wife? Have you ever thought of how God felt when the children of Israel still doubted Him after all the many miracles in the desert?
Yes it hurts, and yes, it’s hard to forget, especially when someone close to you is the one that hurts you, but do you know the same David became a man after God’s own heart? And that He went further to rain down manner from heaven and still protected the Israelites till they reached the promised land? He even called them His own people. How can that possibly be, right? Simple; He forgave and forgot. You can, too, if you let God help you. This not only shows God’s love, but it strengthens our connections as the body of Christ.
Provide for the Needy Around You
This is actually one of the first show of love amongst the early church, as it came to pass that they each brought everything they had, and distributed it among themselves, even to those who had nothing. They ate together and made everyone feel loved.
To demonstrate God’s love to others, give them food to eat. We all have needy people around us every day. They are seated along the streets; with instruments trying to make ends meet. You can put a smile on their faces by giving them a token. Should they do something to earn your favor? If you said yes, think about these wise words from Desmond Tutu, “Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter — you are just there in front of the fire. You don’t have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”
Be that fire that warms those needy people around you, regardless of who they are.
Be a Father/Mother to the Orphans
If you’ve ever lost a parent, you know what it means; it takes God to fill that void. But you can help, too. You can show God’s love to those orphans around you by being there for them. Listen to them and advise them as their parent would. Take them out for some fun as their parents would. Buy stuff for them as well.
By doing so, you gradually help them get over the hurt and embrace a whole new life. They begin to learn to live without their parent and secure a solace in your love. Isn’t this how God loves us?
Be a Good Friend and Listener to Someone Next to You
As busy as the world looks, we most often live a very lonely life. How many times have you meant to really talk to someone and no one was there? How many times have you yearned for a listening ear only to find none? Showing God’s love to others entails being there for them when they need someone. A lot of people are going through stuff they can’t really trust anyone with, better said, they can’t find a listening ear.
You can be that confident. You can give them a listening ear. Get close to them. Tell them you are there for them, and that they can trust you. Just listen until they’re done talking without any interruption. This is what it means to be a good listener and a friend.
Share the Message of God’s Love with Others
The famous John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world…” To think that a lot of people understand this particular scripture is to think wrong. God’s love is unfathomable. It is beyond human understanding – a mystery. The one we can see/feel is the one we know; the peace that surpasses all understanding when you repent of your sins, no matter how deep you were in sin. The unmerited favor (grace) we experience on a daily basis.
The world is filled with depressing scenarios and so many people are literally living life with the aid of drugs. But you have that peace and joy they desperately seek. Why not share the good news with them? The good news is the gospel of salvation that is guaranteed to give them the happiness they seek. This is what love is.
Eat Lunch/Dinner with the Poor
How about taking lunch or dinner to go eat with those on the streets? You may not have the means to help them get out of that situation, but you can put a smile on their faces by bringing food and eating with them. They desperately seek a normal conversation to make them feel alive again. The world treats them like crap and they’re sick and tired of it, but sadly they have no other choice.
You can be the exception. Do you know that you can help them see the light at the end of the tunnel? You may think they are not worthy of it because perhaps they are prone to substance abuse, but before you write them off, remember you were not worthy when Jesus died for you. I love how Ann Tatlock puts it, “Here’s the paradox. We can fully embrace God’s love only when we recognize how completely unworthy of it we are.”
Give Someone a Scholarship
One way to show God’s love is to help someone fulfill their academic dreams. We have brilliant chaps who don’t have college funds. If you have the means to afford them a scholarship, do you know what that’d mean to them?
Helping someone through college has a ripple effect of successes, because when the person graduates and secures a great employment, he/she can them bless their family, friends, and other people around them. So if you are thinking of showing God’s love or being a blessing to your world, giving someone a scholarship is something you should consider.
Organize a Small Party for Family and Friends Once a While
You may think this is quite insignificant, but there is nothing like people from different backgrounds coming under one roof to laugh, play, dance, and have fun. It creates loving memories that ensure peace and unity among men. God wants this type of peace, and doing it means showing God’s love to others.
The early believers were found of this as they would come together in one accord and, the bible said, “fellowship with one another”. There is love is unity. And since God loves to see his children happy and at peace, you will be doing something He loves.
Gift a Family a Vacation, if You Have the Means
Every so often, it is good for families to take a vacation. It strengthens their bond and affords them the time to reevaluate their relationship and commitment towards a more lasting and fruitful future together.
Unfortunately, not every family can afford to do just that. One way to show God’s love to such is to gift them a family vacation. You know, family lays the foundation for a healthy and better society. So, by doing that, you are indirectly contributing towards the safety and progress of the society at large.
Take Care of a Charity Cause
You don’t have to be Bill Gates to give to charity, you know. There are countless charity homes like motherless baby homes in Africa, home for the mentally ill and so on. God’s plan for humanity is that of peace and fulfillment, so your helping others live a better life gladdens His heart and shows how much of His love you have in you.
Sponsor a Missionary Trip
What better way to spread the good news by proxy? You may not be able to go to the village in Africa, but you sure can contribute towards making that a breeze for the missionaries that have sacrificed their lives for the gospel. Sharing the good news doesn’t have to only be in person, your finances share God’s love to the lost souls out there.
It doesn’t matter how much you can contribute; you have no idea how much food $10 can afford for those poor kids in the developing countries. It could determine the fate of a life that is about to die.
Seek God’s Presence
The bible said those who hear from God are the sons of God. But how do you hear when you don’t make effort to listen?
The world teaches us to love those who love us, but God shows us time and again that true love is one that defies mere human understanding. No matter the condition, let God’s love take the master seat in your life. If you ever doubt that, don’t forget who you were before God found you. In that light, I would like to end with this quote from Philip Yancey:
“One who has been touched by grace will no longer look on those who stray as “those evil people” or “those poor people who need our help.” Nor must we search for signs of “love worthiness.” Grace teaches us that God loves because of who God is, not because of who we are.”
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net