How to Really Love Others

[Note: We are learning how to really live together. This isn't an instruction guide. The posts in this series are my open journal.  Please include your thoughts in the comments. Let's find out together how to really live!]


When I was in the seventh grade, I learned an unforgettable lesson on how to not love others. I was a Christian and made the fact known. Most days, I really tried to honor God in my junior high world. I even prayed for my unsaved classmates.

I ran hurdles (try not to laugh, because, lo, it was funny) for my school. My biggest competitor was a teammate. She was faster, better and I didn’t like it. At the District meet, I walked up to a group from my school and I started talking ugly about her. I gossiped and criticized and completely left Jesus in the bleachers. One of the girls caught my attention and pointed to the girl sitting at my feet: the very one I was talking badly about.

I was dumbfounded. Convicted. Embarrassed. And pretty much spent the rest of the school year, rebuilding my reputation as a Christian.

I’ve learned well how not to love others. I’m still in school on learning how to love others well.

I will tell you this: We cannot really love God, if we do not really love people (even, especially the ones that are hard to love).

It’s one of the hard sayings in the Bible: “If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” -I John 4:20-21

So. How can we really love people?

Put Others in Front of Ourselves

Practice Really Loving God


Put Others First
-Let’s face it: our natural tendency is to take care of ourselves. We are good at it-experts! We know what we like, when we like it and we want it our way. This crazy, commandment, the second greatest of all by God is basically impossible. Loving other people, as much as or more than we love ourselves?

Practice Really Loving God-That takes us right back to the first commandment. When we really, truly love God, He gives us the supernatural capacity to really love others-more than we love ourselves.

[Of all the people in the world, moms are the closest to really getting this. We love our kids more than we love ourselves. We give them the first bite, lay in bed for weeks on end to keep their unborn lives safe, endure years of painful infertility, give them a kidney...the list is endless. Moms love their kids unselfishly. But we still struggle with loving others, putting them in front of ourselves.]

I’m learning and asking God to expand my love for others.

How do you really love others?

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Further Resources:

Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself part 1

Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself part 2–these are powerful sermons by John Piper.

List of 100 tangible ways to love others


Mercy Came Running

Thank you for making our first Mercy Benefit Day such a HUGE success! Thank you to the businesses who donated, the bloggers who helped promote and the readers for bidding!

Grand Total: $2361 dollars to help save babies and girls in Africa!!

If you are a high bidder, please expect an email in the next few days. Payments can be made via Paypal or by check in the next 7 days. Thank you!!


WFMW: What to Bring a Friend on Bedrest

*All bidding for the Mercy Benefit Day is now closed at 10 p.m. CST. Thanks so much for supporting Mercy House. Winners will be announced tomorrow!

One of my dearest friends (you may remember her from these posts) was in the hospital on total bed rest with her third baby. She actually delivered early and she and baby are doing great. I spent a few mornings with her last week and I reached out to Twitter for some ideas on what to bring a friend on bed rest.

TWITTER NEVER DISAPPOINTS. Except when I ask it to clean my house. Rude.

The tweeted replies were so impressive, I thought I’d share them in case you ever need to bless a friend:

  • Knit/crochet supplies
  • Bible or books on CD
  • notepad/pen
  • lotion (massage her feet)
  • picture collage of her loved ones
  • Bible verses written on note cards
  • flowers
  • deck of cards
  • candy basket
  • body wash
  • puzzle books
  • handheld games
  • stationary w/stamps
  • music/CD player
  • chapstick
  • Sudoko book
  • peppermints
  • fleece blanket
  • cozy socks
  • iTunes giftcard
  • hand sanitizer
  • embroidery kit
  • portable DVD player
  • new pajamas
  • journel
  • money for vending machines
  • Netflix subscription
  • muffins
  • origami
  • first book in a new series
  • nail polish
  • board game
  • favorite fountain drink
  • coloring books
  • big HUGS and warm conversations!
  • SWEET TEA

I also learned of this cool bedrest forum.

What works for you?



Benefit Day: The Vintage Pearl

The Vintage Pearl is known for meaningful and inspirational handstamped jewelry and keepsakes. Each piece is handcrafted from start to finish with care using raw sterling silver, freshwater pearls and birthstone crystals.

In addition to necklaces, The Vintage Pearl designs customized bracelets, keychains, leather cuffs, earrings, dog tags, baby spoons and more, all with simple vintage beauty and elegance. Customized with names, dates or words of inspiration, with several fonts and charm shapes to choose from, The Vintage Pearl has plenty of options so that your piece is unique and meaningful to you.

The Vintage Pearl has a $150 gift certificate up for bids to benefit The Mercy House.

To bid on the item in this post, please leave a comment with your bid amount. Please leave a current email address in case you have the final bid. Winners will be announced on Jan. 19th and payment can be made via Paypal or by check. All bids close by 10pm CST on Jan. 18. There is no minimum bid.


100% of the proceeds from the Mercy Benefit Day will go to the work of Mercy House. The Mercy House exists to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in nutrition, housing, prenatal care, counseling, Biblical teaching and job skills for sustainable living. The Mercy House has approved 501c3 status.


Benefit Day: Wild Olive Tees

Wild Olive Tees is a collaboration of three women, all regular moms, who are united by a passion for God and His Word. Born of a dream and named after the truths in Romans 11:17, Wild Olive Tees designs trendy Christian tees for women and kids. Each Wild Olive tee has scripture printed on the back, created with the purpose of sending God’s Word out into the world.

Wild Olive Tees has donated a $75 gift certificate for today’s benefit auction.


To bid on the item in this post, please leave a comment with your bid amount. Please leave a current email address in case you have the final bid. Winners will be announced on Jan. 19th and payment can be made via Paypal or by check. All bids close by 10pm CST on Jan. 18. There is no minimum bid.

100% of the proceeds from the Mercy Benefit Day will go to the work of Mercy House. The Mercy House exists to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in nutrition, housing, prenatal care, counseling, Biblical teaching and job skills for sustainable living. The Mercy House has approved 501c3 status.