But God is good! Through anxiety, He has taught me many things. The first is that He is good ALL the time. The second is that He can use me to help others. As Paul says …
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Co. 1:3-4
God is the God of all compassion. His heart is for us is to love those around us, just like He has loved us. He doesn't just love us as an end goal, but to achieve something much more.
"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God … For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another … By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." 1 Jo. 3:1, 11, 16
This is pretty clear. God doesn't just want us to say that we love people, but to show it with our actions. Asking someone if they are OK is just one part of this. So what else can love look like?
- Love can look like spending time with people who are lonely or who are rejected by others. Keep an eye out for these people. Jesus ate with outcasts, so we should too, not being afraid of those who are different. (Read MARK 2:15-17)
- Love can look like helping those who are disadvantaged in some way, not showing an attitude of superiority or having an "us and them" mentality, but treating all people with an equal sense of dignity, worth, value and respect. (Read 1 CORINTHIANS 12:22-25)
- Love can look like seeing someone who has a need and meeting it if you are able to. (Read 1 CORINTHIANS 12:26)
- Love can look like accepting people regardless of how wealthy they are, what they own, what they look like, where they live etc. It is treating everybody as equals. (Read JOHN 7:24 / JAMES 2:1-7)
- Love can look like spending time with or talking to different people, not just your usual group or circle of people. Love is not showing favouritism. (Read ROMANS 2:11)
- Love can look like giving equal opportunities to people regardless of their age, background or circumstances. (Read GALATIANS 3:28 / 1 TIMOTHY 4:12)
- Love is sacrificing for the sake of others, whether that be time, money, possessions, effort, comfort etc. (Read JOHN 15:13)
Love is a powerful thing. It isn't just something to receive, but something to give as much as we are able to. After all, Jesus didn't just tell us to "love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind," but He also said to "love your neighbour as yourself." Mt. 22:37-40
Christianity's primary focus is love, towards God and towards others. So, how can you show the love of God to others today?