“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17, NIV
Loving one another is very important to God. In fact, Jesus says it is the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39).
Sometimes we may not know the best way to show love to others or even how we can be loving in a particular situation. Proverbs 17:17 says that a “friend loves at all times.” We should love others, not only during good times, but always. Here are a few ways to love at all times:
1. Carry Each Other’s Burdens
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2, NIV
One way to love at all times is to carry each other’s burdens. Especially during difficult times, people need someone who they can rely on.
Carrying each other’s burdens might not look the same in every situation. Some people might just want a listening ear. Others might need physical help, such as help with yard work or cleaning. Still others might just want to know someone is there for them if they need it.
As Proverbs 17:17 says, “A brother is born for a time of adversity.” When we carry each other’s burdens, we are strengthening one another and living our lives to reflect Jesus and the words of the Bible.
2. Be Present in Rejoicing and Mourning
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” – Romans 12:15, NIV
Often, in order to love people, we must be present in what they are experiencing, whether it be joy or hardship. Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice.” When someone is finding success and going through happy times, we may feel jealous or question their happiness instead of rejoicing with them. However, we are told to rejoice with them and be happy in their celebrations as this shows the love of Christ.
However, we are also told to mourn with each other. In times of grief, sadness and hurting, it may seem easier for us to avoid the pain of others, rather than to comfort them through their circumstances. However, we are called to show love to our brothers and sisters in Christ in the good and the bad times.
3. Forgive One Another
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13, NIV
Forgiveness is powerful. Yet, love and bitterness cannot coexist. Colossians 3:13 tells us to forgive as the Lord forgave us. His forgiveness is perfect. Even though we do not deserve it, He freely offers it to us, and we should do the same for others.
1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
4. Care About the Needs of Others
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3-4, NIV
Another way to show love at all times is to care about the needs of others. This can be need for physical items, such as the need for food or clothing. For example, you see that there is a coat drive for people in your community and you take the time to participate. Perhaps, you hear that your friend’s car has broken down, and you show love by offering to give them a ride.
However, there can also be other needs that may not relate to possessions. For example, maybe you notice that a mother seems tired lately and offer to babysit her kids for a few hours so she can have a break. Or perhaps a friend has seemed down lately, so you schedule a time to talk and hang out to help fill that need.
Philippians 2:3-4 talks about valuing other’s interests above our own. Loving other people requires taking the focus from ourselves and putting it on other people.
5. Pray for One Another
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” – James 5:13, NIV
In some circumstances, it may feel like we cannot do anything to help meet the needs of others. We do not have to feel helpless in these situations, instead we can pray for those people and their needs, as this is a great way to love others. We can bring the person to God in prayer.
Whether the person is going through hard times or struggles or they are at a high point in their life, prayer is powerful. 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
Our concerns, our hopes, our questions, we can bring them all to Jesus. Here are some ways we can bring these things to God and pray for one another:
- We can pray that people will find salvation and hope in Christ.
- We can bring Him praise and celebration for others’ successes and good news, such as getting married, having a baby, opening a new business, getting over a sickness or accomplishing a goal.
- We can search for answers or peace along with those who are confused, whether it be about the Bible, life or their circumstances.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.