Seven Principles For Loving
By Angie Lewis
I know what you’re thinking, You’re thinking, I don’t need
someone to tell me how to love – I already know how to love.
Yes, you’re probably right. But most of us only know how to love
superficially – it’s not real. Did you know that Jesus commands
us to love others and He teaches us how to love appropriately?
Real love is based upon principles. When we are serving others
we need to ask ourselves, is this what Christ would do? Let’s
take a look at some important principles about loving.
1. Love Your Neighbor As You Love Yourself (James 2:8)
Christians are called to serve one another in whatever ways God has blessed them with. I’m not sure if taking our brothers and sister to court is serving them very well. One great principle that Christ teaches us is to get rid of the sinful nature we have towards our neighbors, such as spite, envy, jealousy, and covetousness. That’s not loving our neighbor when we harbor these negative emotions, is it? The best way to love our neighbor is to let them see Christ working in us.
2. Be Compassionate and Humble (1 Peter 3:8-9)
Christ taught us how to be compassionate and walk in humbleness. Isn’t that what He did? What better example do we have than Christ himself? Self righteous and proud behavior does not help anyone see Jesus Christ in us, but only reflects our own sinful nature. Pride and selfishness can take a precedent in our heart sometimes, so we must allow God to take these negative thoughts away from our mind and refresh us with loving, humble thoughts.
3. Be Forgiving (Luke 6:30-31)
Would you want to be forgiven? The greatest attitude to have about loving others is the golden rule principle. “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”. Ask God to help you forgive in its completeness. God wants us to forgive so we will be free to love.
4. Do Not Be Self-Seeking (I Corinthians 13:4-6)
We can’t love anyone if we’re only looking out for ourselves. Christ teaches us that loving others is exactly the opposite – we are to look out for others. I think this principle works, because if we are new in Christ than we are capable of loving properly and that means that Christ takes care of our needs – we don’t need to look out for ourselves – He is already doing it! We all have needs. How can you serve somebody and help them to get their needs met?
5. Do Not Seek Revenge (Leviticus 19:18)
Jesus has taught us to turn the other cheek and walk away. But how often have we done the exact opposite? Is there someone you can’t seem to forgive and now are giving the silent treatment to? Have you ever taken someone to court just because of your unforgiving heart? Why are Christians seeking revenge? It is wrong. Seek Christ’s forgiveness for yourself so you can forgive your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
6. Carry Each Other’s Burdens (Galatians 6:2)
Sometimes we think we’re the only person or family with problems in this life. But everyone, at sometime in their life, has distresses and discomforts that challenge their faith in Christ or belief system. We all have been given gifts, talents and abilities to use for encouraging, helping, and teaching others. What is your gift? Are you using it to help others find Christ, or helping other Christians who are having difficulties in this life? Christ wants us to use our gifts to help others carry their heavy burden. We will be rewarded for our efforts.
7. Love Others As Christ Has Loved You (John 15:12-13)
How can we truly love others in the same way that Jesus Christ has loved us? It just doesn’t seem possible. Would that mean we have to suffer and die for our friends, family, and fellow brothers and sisters? Yes! It means we must throw off the old person and allow that person to die and then be reborn a new spiritual person in the Lord. This is the only way we can actually give up our selfish lifestyle and love others appropriately in the Lord. This is how we learn to love unconditionally. We first must repent and be forgiven for our sins before we can truly forgive and love others. br />
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
II Peter 1: 5-8