Reflecting the Love of Jesus

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  Ephesians 5:1-2

There’s a wonderful story about a statue in an Italian city.  That statue portrayed a Greek maiden.  She had a beautiful face, and a graceful figure, and a noble expression.  One day, a poor little girl from that town went and stood face-to-face with that statue.  She stood and stared at the beautiful face of that statue and then went back to her house to wash and comb her hair. The next day, the same little girl came again to stand face-to-face before that statue, and after standing there for a few minutes, she ran home again, and this time, she mended her tattered clothing.

Day by day, she kept coming and standing in front of that statue.  Day by day, she kept going back and changing the way she looked, changing the way she held herself, to look more and more like what she saw in that statue, until her form grew more and more graceful, and her face became more and more refined, and she began to reflect that beautiful statue.  She was transformed in her appearance.

In the same way, God calls us to be changed, more and more each day, as we look on the face of Jesus Christ, as we come before Him in prayer, as we look into the pages of His Word.  Every day, He wants to transform us, more and more, until we begin to look like, and talk like, and act like His Son, Jesus.  And we reflect Him when we love each other.

Here are five practical ways of loving others: in your marriage, in your family, in the church, in the world.

1.     Listen to each other. The people around you need you to listen to them, to hear what they’re saying, without jumping to conclusions, and without waiting for them to stop talking, so that you can say what you want to say.  Learn how to listen to other people, because listening reduces friction in your relationships, and it makes things work.

2.     If you want to show love to someone else, spend time with each other.  Love is a four-letter word, and it’s spelled T-I-M-E.  Take time with your family and your friends.

3.     Encourage each other.  If you want to show love to somebody, encourage them.  Look for opportunities to affirm that person.  Look for times to just say “thank you,” to pay a sincere compliment, with no agenda.

4.     Laugh with each other.  Stressed people take everything too seriously.  Learn to find the funny in every circumstance, because it’s always there.  If people are involved, there’s always something to laugh at. 

5.     Accept each other.  That doesn’t mean you have to approve of everything about somebody.  It simply means that you accept them, and you love them.  The people closest to you need to know that you will love them, no matter what, that there’s no mistake they can make that will ever sever them from your love.  That’s how Jesus loves us.  The Bible says nothing can separate us from His love.  And we’re to love one another that same way.

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!