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How to Love People Well – Part 2

This article continues from How to Love People Well – Part 1.

Being secretly pleased when something unfortunate happens to someone we don’t like may be normal, but it’s not right. It’s normal to find some people irritating and focus more on ourselves than on others. It’s normal to insist on our own way. But that is not the way love behaves. As we follow Jesus, we must learn a more excellent way to live. In this way, we show we are children of our Father (Matthew 5:45).

 

What Loving People Looks Like

There are many definitions of love, but we take our understanding of love from the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul tells us what love looks like. Whether we are a saint learning to show the love of Jesus to others, an evangelist attempting to reach the lost with the gospel, or a church leader discipling others and helping them grow, this is the kind of love we need to have.

Love Does Not Insist on Its Own Way

Everyone has a different way of doing things. Love acknowledges and respects this. When we love, we can be flexible and open to new ideas. We won’t always follow those ideas; we must still test everything against Scripture. But love considers others above itself, which means that sometimes, for the sake of others, we will do things differently to the way we would prefer (Romans 12:10). Our attitude towards others should be humble. In the world, we submit to leaders and those in authority, and within the church, we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Romans 13:1-2; Ephesians 5:21).

Love learns to present an idea humbly, not as ‘my way or the highway’.

Insisting on your own way alienates others. In most situations, building relationship is more important than ‘being right’. Love learns to present an idea humbly, not as ‘my way or the highway’. What we want doesn’t matter half as much as what God wants. And God wants us to love one another.

Love is Not Irritable or Resentful

Irritability is being wound up by the present. Resentfulness is being wound up by the past. Neither has a place in the followers of Jesus. We can’t blame being irritable on our personality or ‘that time of the month’ if the Bible says being irritable comes from a lack of love. We need to overcome it. Being irritable says, ‘My time is more important than your life, your feelings and your growth in the Lord.’ The answer to irritability is to let patience have its perfect work in us (James 1:4).

Resentfulness happens when you play a mental highlights reel of everything that ever hurt you and allow it to shape your current mood. A resentful person does not think the best of others. They have let the sun go down on their anger and now live in a twilight world of expecting things to go wrong and others to hurt them. The answer to resentfulness is forgiveness. Let go of those hurtful memories – forgive and forget. That is the way that God loves us and that is how we should love ourselves and others (Hebrews 8:12; John 13:34).

Love Does Not Rejoice at Wrongdoing but Rejoices with The Truth

It is tempting to rejoice when something unpleasant happens to someone unpleasant. Sometimes we can be glad we spoke rudely or managed to hurt someone who hurt us. But that is not how love behaves. If we love our enemies, there is no room to enjoy wrongdoing, even if it happens to someone we think deserves it. Rather, we must rejoice with the truth. That means only what is God-honouring, what is righteous, what is of the light.

If we love our enemies, there is no room to enjoy wrongdoing, even if it happens to someone we think deserves it.

By God’s grace, others’ wrongdoing can provide an opportunity for the gospel – God can work everything for our good (Romans 8:28). But while Paul encouraged the Ephesians to make the best use of their time because the days are evil, we don’t rejoice that the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Jesus said not even to rejoice at having power over the works of the devil. Rather, He told His disciples, rejoice that your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

Love Bears All Things

People often speak of the need for healthy boundaries to protect ourselves from being burnt out or taken advantage of. People warn against ‘performance mode’ and doing too much. But we must not shut the door to helping with what weighs others down. Paul says to throw the door open, because ‘love bears all things’. Writing to the Galatians, a church caught up in ‘performance mode’, Paul says, ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ’ [The law of Christ is to love one another] (Galatians 6:2; John 13:34).

…bearing one another’s burdens is not a symptom of works-based religion, but rather evidence of love in action

Paul saw no conflict between the command to bear others’ burdens and to find the cure for the culture of dead religious performance that troubled the Galatian church. We too can be confident, as Paul was, that bearing one another’s burdens is not a symptom of works-based religion, but rather evidence of love in action and of someone fulfilling the law of Christ.

Love Believes and Hopes All Things

We all hate the feeling when someone doesn’t believe us. If you know someone doesn’t believe you or hold out much hope for you, you are unlikely to open up to that person. When Paul says, love believes all things, he isn’t suggesting we fall for everything or allow ourselves to be manipulated. But he is advocating a caring approach. The old saying is true: ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’.

Love will attempt to see life through someone else’s eyes. When helping others, their view of the world is their reality. When they tell you how the world looks to them, don’t tell them they are wrong. Believe them. Then show them what God says about a world that looks that way.

Believing people is not the same as believing in them. We know people will let us down, but we can still believe them. People can be hopeless and we can still have hope for them. We can have hope for every troubled marriage, every unsaved relative, every situation of sickness or need, because our hope is not in the people we see, but in the Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

Love Endures All Things and Never Ends

Love doesn’t run out. That’s why we can endure all things. Because love is from God and so the supply is limitless (1 John 4:7). Sometimes we encounter people like leeches, who seem set on sucking us emotionally and spiritually dry. But no leech can suck fast enough to dry up the well of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised would bubble from within us if we drink the water He gives (John 4:14).

Drink from Jesus and your love will never end.

Drink from Jesus and your love will never end. When Peter came to Jesus and asked how often he should forgive His brother, Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times’ (Matthew 18:21,22). Only when we are drinking from Jesus can we show that kind of love.

Loving People Well

Jesus said, ‘By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ (John 13:35). The authenticity of our witness hinges on the genuineness of our love. ‘Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience’ (Colossians 3:12).

Adam serves as an elder in Joshua Generation Church, South Africa. He is married to Vanessa, and they have two sons. Adam’s particular passions are worship and apologetics. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram for more.

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Grief
Compromise
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Delegating
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Social Gospel
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Sacrificial Love
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Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
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Fellowship
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Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
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Study the Bible
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Spreading The Gospel
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Raising Leaders
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Leading
Exhortation
Self-Righteousness
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Sex Before Marriage
Mothering
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Halloween
Honesty
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Complacency
Recalibration
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Transformation
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Taiwan Churches
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Pastor
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resilience
steadfastness
uncompromising
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Overcoming
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Lust
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The Gospel
Purgatory
Control
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Modesty
Judgement
Bearing Fruit
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Four12 Partners Relief Fund
Pastors Training
The Poor
Letting Go
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Heart of God
Justice
Church Partnership
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Apostles
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Holiness
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Caring for People
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Lying
Deception
Hell
Raising Children
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Ordained
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Defending My Faith
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Teenagers
Four12 Churches
Training Pastors
Needy
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Relationship with God
Faith and Works
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Reading
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God's Love
Apostolic
Faith
Holy Spirit
Pastoring
Suffering
Brotherly Love
Eternity
Community
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Bishops
Shepherd
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Greed
Immaturity
Raising Kids
Parenting
Poor
Bible
Ordinance
Unforgiveness
Refreshing
Defending The Gospel
Matrimony
Teenage Years
Four12 Church
Youth Leaders
Ireland
Redemption
Godly Leadership
Disciple
Church Discipline
Church Health
False Teachers
Fatherly Love
Tongues
Goats
Fear God
Godly Love
Body of Christ
Authority
Faithfulness
Holy Spirit Baptism
Patience
Teaching
Character of a Deacon
Grief
Compromise
Blueprint
Character
Addiction
Pornography
Signs
Christening
Starting A Church
Parents
Poverty
Study the Word
Stewarding
Punishment
Being Hospitable
Sharing The Gospel
Restoration
Training Kids
Malawi
Leading Youth
Surrender
Testimonies
Christ
Delegating
Servant
Social Gospel
Character of God
Worth
Gift of Tongues
Godly Elders
Big Churches
Salvations
Sacrificial Love
Baptism
Fear of God
Hospitality
Peace
The Bible
Church Leaders
Hardship
Fellowship
Holy Living
Character of an Elder
Adultery
Rebelling
Signs and Wonders
Baptise
Infant Baptism
Power
Possessions
Study the Bible
Steward
Hatred
Hospitable
Spreading The Gospel
Relationships
Training Children
Health
Youth Training
Counting the Cost
Healing Equip
books
Raising Leaders
Shepherds
Contentment
God's Character
Affirmation
Judaism
Enlightenment
Building Deep
Prostitution
Godly Team
Breaking Bread
Festivals
Idolatry
Prayer and Fasting
Theology
Foundations
Heaven
Fellowship of Believers
Leading Church
Diversity
Church Accountability
Rebellion
Witchcraft
Baby Christian
Kassie du Plessis
Protector
Tithing
Envy
Quiet Times
Retaliation
Lessons
Spreading The Word
Cheating
Training Teenagers
Cancer
Youth Ministry
Following the Call
Four12 Equip
Eldership Training
Community Leading
Pastors
Rest
Sacrificial Serving
Sonship
Jewish
Reason
Selling Out
Prostitutes
honour
favour
Children
Forgiveness
Income
Prophetic
Tithes
Helper
Illness
Principles
Living for Christ
Government
Discipling
Sancti
Words of Knowledge
Babies
Prayer
Sexual Purity
Christmas
Jealousy
Meditation
Promises
Loss
The Cross
Persecution
Unfaithfulness
Sacrifice
Brazil
Prophetic Training
Healing Conference
Identity
Small Group
Biblical Pattern
Systematic Theology
False Gospel
Testimony Apostolic
Jews
Reasoning
Watering Down
Reaching Out
Christian Character
Generosity
Jesus
Purity
Trust
Helps
Mortality
Christian Family Values
Lukewarm
Home Group Leaders
Exhort
Sanctification
Dominionism
Beliefs
Praying
Celibacy
Fathers
Comparison
Training
Bible Study
Tests
Cross
Fear of Man
Find Forgiveness
Sacrificial Service
Brazil Churches
Prophetic Equip
Voice of God
Team
Home Group
Change
Servant Leadership
Apostolic Leaders
Authentic
Religions
Intellectual Pride
Ambition
Fruitfulness
God's Favour
Christian Living
Gentleness
Joy
Repentance
Unity
Loving People
Infirmity
Family Values
Righteousness
Leading
Exhortation
Self-Righteousness
Kingdom of God
Commands
Provision
Sex Before Marriage
Mothering
Women in Leadership
Halloween
Honesty
Testing
Crucifixion
Conversion
Guilt
Sacrificial Giving
Church Merger
Equipping
Saints
Leadership Team
Priesthood
Jehovah's Witnesses
Women In Ministry
Fruit of the Spirit
Womens Ministry
Messiah
Mind Idolatry
Megachurch
Biblical Paradox
Honouring God
Church Leadership
Church Life
Giving
Kindness
Revival
Water Baptism
Servant Heart
Living for Jesus
Covenantal Relationships
Division
Accusation
Flesh
Sexual Sin
Scripture
Customs
Provider
Living for God
Mothers
Female Leaders
Calling
Christian Fellowship
Backsliding
Easter
Witnessing
Infidelity
Biblical Culture
Merging Churches
Prophetic Equipping
Gift of Prophecy
Apostle
Priesthood of All Believers
Finance
Servanthood
Biblical Church
Praise
Atheism
Church History
Living the Gospel
Paradoxes in the Bible
Honouring People
Church Planting
Community Leaders
God the Father
Leaders
Salvation
Women
Afterlife
Protection
Dating
Decisions
Eldership
Fleshly Desires
Shame
Truth
Traditions
Works
Morality
Wisdom
Women Leaders
Ordaining Elders
Christian Community
Backslidden
Resurrection
Testimony
Masturbation
Communal Culture
Partnering Churches
Prophesy
New Churches
Five Fold Gift
Trinity
Tithe
Relationship
Employment
Thanksgiving
Atheists
Old Testament Prophet
Ambassadors
Truth in Tension
contradictions
Treasure Hunting
treasure
Deacons
Culture
Good News
Maturity
Self-Control
Word of Knowledge
Bitterness
Self-Pity
Courting
Forgiving
Anger
Freedom
Submission
Gifts of the Spirit
Get Baptised
Works and Faith
Morals
Gift of Wisdom
Females in Leadership
Ordaining
Defence
Commitment
Hearing God
Consequences
Receive Forgiveness
Leadership Training
Living Hope
Zimbabwe
Start a Church
Prophet
New Believers
Being Generous
Study Scripture
Jobs
Entitlement
Misotheists
New Testament Prophet
Work Values

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