If someone asked you, “What does a Christian look like?,” do you know what you would say? Do Christians look different than other people? Do you look different? How can we identify Christians?
After Jesus washed His disciples feet he told them, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)
Love sacrifices for others. Love does not demand our own way, but looks out for others. Love is selfless. Jesus also says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus was the ultimate example of this sacrificial love and this love is forever remembered through the popular scripture John 3:16 which says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Take a minute and think about your day so far. Would today be described as a day where you are looking out for the interest of others? When people look at your actions and attitude today, do they see that you are different?
Here are 4 simple tips to practice selfless love.
Care: Feel concern and be aware of those you are around and then act Love does. Notice the coworker or classmate who has their head in their hands. Do something when you see a person unable to complete what they are working on. “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4)
Listen: Give your attention to the person who is talking. Consciously concentrate on not only what they are saying, but how they are saying it. Put your phone down, eliminate distractions, and look the person in the eye. When you make an effort to show love by listening, the speaker will feel valued and see that matter.
Ask Questions: Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who only talks about themselves? If so, you probably felt walked all over and undervalued. Put others first and be selfless in your conversations through inquiry. Asking questions encourages the other person to talk and share about their interests and lives.
Ask For Help: We usually don’t think about asking for help as being selfless, but for some allowing others to serve us is an act of selflessness. We would rather do things ourselves or maybe we don’t want to appear weak so we struggle alone. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
We can be so selfish at times. If left to myself, I often choose myself. But the good news is Christ lives in me and through Him and with His help, I can show love to others.
Only God can give us a selfless love for others, as the Holy Spirit changes us from within. This is one reason we must receive Christ, for apart from His Spirit we can never be freed from the chains of selfishness, jealousy, and indifference. Will others see Christ’s love in your life today? ― Billy Graham, Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith