God values others. So should you.
“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
John 13:34 NIV.
My thoughts and comments today are about,
“adding value to others.”
Everyone longs to be valued and loved. That desire is innate, original to how God created you and me, as well as all others. We long to be loved for who we are, rather than what we do. The Bible is clear, ”God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 NIV. While we were yet sinners! Loving others is your primary response to God, which you then extend to others. To the extent that you understand how beloved you are, you are enabled, even empowered, to love others more freely.
Love is mandatory, not optional. Jesus was very direct and clear. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV. I read that phrase, “as I have loved you,” to describe both the measure and manner of the love we are commissioned to share with others. You are to give what you have been given.
Loving others as much as you love yourself would be far easier to obey if everyone were as easy to love as some others are. I think that is why Jesus did not make the command about the other person’s worthiness; He made it all about you. God knows that you were created with a healthy self-esteem, and though that is a bit complicated because of everyone’s natural condition, which theologians call, “fallenness.” Everyone has a good dose of appreciating and preserving themselves, some a little too much.
This is the practical aspect of loving others. “You truly love others when you add value to their lives.” Isn’t that what you are trying to do for yourself, adding value? In your better, nobler moments you want to be better and do better. I have been blessed to have so many others who loved me and cared enough to add value to my life. They continually invested something of themselves to assist me to realize more of what God intended for my life.
They spent time with me. They offered their wisdom, gathered from experiences of both successes and failures. They shared what they had learned. They related their lessons from life that they had learned the hard way. They expected better of me and held me to a higher standard than would have been natural to me.
You invest in a good education for yourself so that you will have more options and fulfillment in what you do, with a greater chance for success and financial security. You choose a spouse that will enrich and enhance your life and theirs. You select a neighborhood and schools for your children that will better ensure their safety and academic achievement. You try to eat wisely and exercise to insure better health and longevity. Isn’t all of that about adding value to your life?
How then can you love others and add value to their lives? Simply stated, you can do so by placing a higher value on them, the way you value yourself – thinking of them as highly as you think of yourself – treating them as well as you treat yourself – speaking of them as kindly as you speak of yourself – wanting the best for them as you desire the best for yourself – and rejoicing with and for them when they rejoice.
The Bible is clear, “That the members may have the same care for one another. And if one suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with them.” 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 NAS. When you rejoice for others success as you would for your own and when you empathize with their sufferings as you struggle with your own, then you will, “love others as much as yourself.” You add value to others when you recognize how highly God values them. When you are persuaded of that you will treat all others accordingly.
Jesus stated this principle practically and plainly, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, as I have loved you. so, you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples.” John 13:34-35 NKJV. Love is God’s command, not suggestion. Loving others is an obligation, not an option. Jesus said, “Give as freely as you have received!” Matthew 10:8 NLT.
You are asked to give others what God has given you, to regard others as God regards you, and to behave toward others as is God’s manner toward you. Early in ministry, God put an understanding in my heart, “Love to be authentic must be practical and observable.” Is the result of your regard and relationship with others practical and observable?
Today, I pray for you to invest yourself in others in beneficial ways.
EDL Communications 2019
Website and archives: allenrandolph.com