“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?”
When my wife and I were counseling for marriage, this became the focal verse of most of our conversations. The wise minister who gave us counsel asked us to consider that there is no person closer to you in life to whom you can demonstrate this love more than the person you marry. Your love for the person you marry shows a lot about your love for God. Is it any wonder that in a society so hardened toward God there is so much divorce?
The word “love” as the Bible uses it means to care for and consider others, to have concern for them. Love can be described as esteeming others greater than yourself or thinking on the needs of others and not just your own. We demonstrate our love for God, our consideration and concern for Him, by how we treat others.
The question we must ask is: How much concern do I show for others? In my marriage, am I truly thinking about and showing concern for my spouse? Am I working toward his/her goals? Am I thinking of his/her needs at least as much as my own? In my work, do I really care about the people I work with and the customers I serve? Do I really care about what is best for them? Am I trying to help serve their needs so they are more successful or am I just interested in making a buck? The questions can go on and on, but the instruction is clear. We don’t really care about God if we don’t care about other people.
Realize that we all fall short of the perfection of God’s love, but there is hope! For those of us who want to love the people we interact with in life, we can start by asking ourselves some simple questions about how we can best serve others. Thinking about others’ needs and what is truly best for them is the first step to loving them. It is about getting our minds off ourselves and onto them. Think about others first. Then ask God to give you His Spirit that sheds His love in our hearts so that we can see others as He does and treat them as He would have us treat them.
No one wants you to love others more than God. It is a prayer He will answer because, in the end, when we care about others, we become the person God made us to be. True greatness is not found in finding people to serve you, but in finding people to serve.
- Written by David Liesenfelt Copyright © 2005