The more you fall in love with Jesus, inevitably the larger your heart will grow for loving others.
Being a Christian is so much more than all the things you do and don’t do; being a Christian is all about loving God and loving others. When you grow up going to church, it’s easy to adopt this ritual, list of rules, or standards and feel as if you have arrived in the Christian life when you arrive to living up to each one. We begin crossing off the list (25 ways to be a good Christian), as we feel we begin maturing in the Christian life.
Although, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this mindset. Matthew 15:8-9 says,
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
They were rebuking the Lord because He wasn’t doing things the traditional way. They had many customs, such as washing their hands before they ate. This upset the religious leaders when Jesus wasn’t following their traditions. Jesus put serving others above the law He had given them. (He was about to turn things completely upside down.) He says,
“But he answered and said unto them,
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?”
This blog post is all about loving others…
Through the years of ministering to people, one thing God has continually showed me is that if you are going to love others you must grow in understanding others.
There’s a whole blog post on this topic HERE. When Jesus was dealing with the Pharisees here in this passage and trying to teach the disciples a lesson, He specifically asks them, “Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not yet ye understand…”
If you are going to love others, you must be willing to understand others, therefore you must be willing to walk in their shoes.
When Jesus resurrected and ascended back into Heaven, He left us with a completely brand new mindset. Love Jesus and love people.
I believe we think that we love people, but our actions say otherwise. I’ve sat at tables with the “best of the best preachers and Christians” who talk about people in a negative way. Some say they are called to the ministry, but will try to destroy someone else through gossip to make themselves appear better in some way or higher up on the scale of Christian leadership.
There have been times that I have told the Lord I’ve forgiven someone, yet when I had the opportunity to be kind I was harsh with my words. I did this just a couple days ago. The Holy Spirit convicted my heart and let me know my response to that person wasn’t done with understanding.
How we respond to people shows the condition of our heart.
“But those things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart;
and they defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18-19)
I think it’s interesting that God’s Word says about the virtuous woman, “in her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26) She was so kind that she could write a book about the rules of kindness. I personally think this should be taught, because I truly think many times some Christians do not even know how to be kind. Although, you can’t teach how to be kind if someone doesn’t have a heart for Jesus.
Kindness always starts with the heart.Jackie Marie Carr
Loving others is a measure of our faith.
Ephesians 1:15 says,
“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,”
Remember how we talked in the previous post HERE that, of course, faith and love our tied together, because they are fruit of the Holy Spirit and His working in our lives. Going to the beginning thought of the post… the Pharisees enjoyed an open show of their Christianity. Whereas, so much of our Christianity today is living through faith in love.
Many times others don’t see the years of forgiveness a person has decided to live in.
People don’t always see the love you have showed to someone who doesn’t love you back. Others don’t see the kindness you have shown to someone who you know has tried to destroy you in every way. These are all acts of love, yes, but truly acts of faith.
You choose to be loving and kind because that’s what Jesus did for you. It’s sacrificial. Faith to loving others is knowing that you are obeying God even when you feel like there is no ROI (return on your investment).
The degree we know God is the degree of the kindness we will show others.
Ephesians 5:1-2 says,
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”
Christ was willing to give himself up as an offering for us to show us how much He loves us. How much are we willing to go out of our way to show that kind of love to others? What hinders this type of love?
If you go back to the previous chapter in Ephesians 4:16-18, it explains the root of issue of dealing with people kindly and lovingly very clearly.
“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:”
Our hearts can become blinded and hard towards others when we do not love and understand people like we should.
Nothing can grieve a service, the music ministry, a sermon, and an altar call more than people not being right with each other. I’ve been in services where the music seemed perfect, but no one was moved because of the behind scenes turmoil that had been going on with people.
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:29-32)
Everyone of these things he mentions that grieve the Holy Spirit has to do with our relationship with people-
- corrupt communication- words that do not edify; words that are not gracious. Ask this question- do my words bring good (or do good for others) to others as this verse says?
- Is there a sense of bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour (loud, continuous complaining), malice (not even able to stand being in the presence of a certain individual)?
Being kind could mean (according to this passage)-
- Tenderhearted – an acute sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others (UNDERSTANDING).
- Forgiveness – processing negative feelings and hurts within 24 hours so that we do not allow the enemy to have a stronghold in our lives. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
- Kind- disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress; tenderness or goodness of the heart, a kind act.
So, in conclusion, let’s get past this level of Christianity where we think we are great Christians because we follow the 25 steps to being a good Christian...,
but treat others so unkindly. Let’s have love without dissimulation- a love that’s not hypocritical (Romans 12:9). A love that says, “I am here to stay- for better or for worse.”
When is the last time we went out of our friend circle to encourage someone-
- notice their work
- tell them they are doing a good job
- tell them you hope they have a good day
- compliment their outfit
- sit by them
- tell them you noticed that hard thing they went through, and you are so proud of them for pushing through
I hope this post encourages you to grow in loving others, as well as allowing your kindness to grow towards them also. Feel free to connect with me on social media @jackiemariecarr_
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LOVING GOD AND LOVING OTHERS
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