Why should we love people?
I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Isaiah 13:12 ESV
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26 ESV
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 ESV
Because people are precious. They are, fearfully and wonderfully, made by God in His own image. Because it is what you were made for. It forms part of the reason behind your entire existence.
How do we, practically, go about loving people?
- Finding and focusing on things in them worthy of praise and admiration
- Listening intently and having a genuine interest for what interests them
- Constantly and consistently appreciating and affirming
- Showing genuine empathy by seeing things from their point of view
Time and Service
- Fulfilling a need that they may have
- Honoring their time and making them a priority in your life
- Gifting them and taking on their burdens
- Leisurely activities
- Healthily assessing and discussing the relationship
- Humbly confessing your own errors while completely forgiving and absolving theirs
- Seeing things from their point of view, showing genuine empathy
- Lovingly challenging them to be better and being challenged by them
- Time in solitude
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ... - 1 John 4:7-21 ESV