As God’s friend, we need to remember to love others. In Matthew 22:37-39 (with Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18 echoing this verse), Jesus names the two greatest commandments: love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself, and (while the first one is something we should remember all the time) I would like to focus on this second one here.
Believe it or not, we love ourselves like crazy. My dad once pointed out to me that this isn’t just the case when we feel good about ourselves, but also when we’re beating up on ourselves (after all, if we didn’t love ourselves, why would we care if we had a bad day?). This is the kind of love we need to have for others. We need to rejoice with them in good times and cry with them when times are rough. We need to encourage them in what is right but steer them away from what is wrong. This is just one of the many parts that make up true friendship.
Exodus 34:6 says this:
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
“Abounding in love”. We are made in the image of God. We need to do our best to imitate Him, and this is just one example.
Love is the most amazing gift you can give a friend. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Have you ever made an list full of qualities that you think an awesome friend would have? I think that the above verse pretty much covers anything you may have put on that list. (In the previous post, I mentioned that God has every single good quality a friend can possibly have and then even more than that; so the above is a pretty good, though definitely not complete, list of a few of God’s awesome attributes). Love is proving itself to be an absolutely incredible thing, isn’t it? To love a friend means being the above, which may sound impossible, but with God’s help and His love, we can get close.
Loving others. You can give your friends a hug, a smile, tell them how much you appreciate that they have been in your life; there are so many ways you can express your love for them. Give it a shot!
More from The Friendship Series: