1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV
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.
Being a loving person takes work. It is especially hard in the world we live in.
But there is hope for us.
We can be loving.
Sometimes it feels like everything just takes SO much work.
But we are children of God. We are to live like HE lives.
I know God loves me and I’m sure there are times when He says, “No My child. Try it again. You will get it.”
I’m pretty sure He is saying that hundreds of time each day for me alone.
When it comes to loving others, we have to encourage ourselves to “Try it again.”
I wanted to list some ways that we can be more loving toward each other and even ourselves.
We deserve to be loved.
If we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others.
I hope you find these encouraging.
1. Be patient
We have to be patient with ourselves first.
If we’re going to treat each other the way we want to be treated, we have to figure out how we want to be treated.
I want people to have patience with me, so I need to be patient with myself.
We are our worst critics.
Give yourself some grace and you can learn to give it for others.
2. Be kind
Kindness almost seems like a myth.
Does it seem that way to you?
I can’t watch the news or tv without seeing pure hatred.
Sometimes it’s coming from the people of God.
Our God is kind!
We should be kind too!
3. Appreciate what you have
Appreciate what you have.
I’m not saying don’t work for more.
I’m always working for more, but I also appreciate what I have.
I thank God for my blessings.
- my family
- my home
- my peace
I appreciate these things.
I do that with gratitude.
Daily gratitude helps me to appreciate what I have.
4. Don’t brag
God is the reason for everything good in my life.
I really believe that!
Since He is the reason for it, I can’t brag about anything.
I will boast about HIM.
I will celebrate what HE’s done for me.
I won’t brag like I’m the reason for it.
I’m blessed…and because of that, God wants me to be a blessing to others.
5. Pride is not love
I believe that we should have pride in ourselves, but we shouldn’t be prideful.
What does that mean?
We should be proud of who God made us to be – having pride.
But we shouldn’t be prideful – filled with arrogance and looking down our noses at others.
We are all masterpieces of God.
We should love each other.
We should encourage each other.
When we live with pride without being prideful, we become true examples of God.
6. Don’t put others down
This one goes along with the one above.
We shouldn’t look down on others.
Putting others down can happen in so many ways.
- Mean comments
- Not standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves
These are just a few.
These are things I taught my middle schoolers not to do, when I was teaching.
We should be lifting each other up.
We don’t have to sing and hold hands, but we should be adding value to the world, not taking from it.
7. Life is not all about ourselves (self-seeking)
One thing I have learned is that life is NOT all about me.
It has been a painful lesson and that’s okay.
I enjoy finding ways to help others.
I want to see others living a happy life.
I believe that everyone has something to offer, they just have to find out what it is.
Understanding that this life is not all about me, helps me to even take my focus off my problems and they don’t seem so big, at times.
I’m trying to serve others more, and I believe that will also make my life better.
8. Show grace
Can we say it enough?
Give people a chance.
We all mess up and we need people in our corner who will say, “It’s okay, try it again.”
If you have never messed up, you may not understand this.
As someone who has messed up too many times to count, I have realized that when people show me grace it means more than I could ever know.
Show someone grace today. I’m sure it will help you feel better too.
Even if they don’t show gratitude, thank God for the opportunity to show grace.
9. Don’t remind others of what they did in the past
Jesus told the men who caught the woman in adultery, whoever in this group of accusers has never sinned go ahead and throw your rock at her.
All the men walked away.
Not one of them cast the stone. (Sorry if you don’t know the story, and I ruined it for you by telling the end.)
But the story shows that we all have sinned.
We allow our pasts to stop us from doing things.
We allow our pasts to condemn us.
Why would we do that to others.
I know that some people have done things to hurt us.
We have to show them that they can’t get the best of us.
The longer we hold them to the past, is the longer we stay in the past with them.
God has great things in store for us. Sometimes we may have trouble seeing that.
I’ve been there and I know.
But let’s move on from the past.
10. Don’t enjoy evil
Evil is from the enemy.
If we “delight” in evil we become like him.
We shouldn’t delight in it.
We are to fight against evil with God’s word and prayer.
We should be helping others learn that evil is wrong.
Evil is sin.
Since we are going to be loving people, evil has no place.
We can only be one or the other.
11. Rejoice in the truth of God’s Word
God’s word is TRUE!
He has so much love spread through out His word.
We should be using HIS word on a daily basis to remind us of HIS truth.
When we are reminded of God’s truth, it gives us reason to rejoice.
When we learn how to rejoice we can share that with others.
Sharing is caring…and loving.
If someone shares usually that tells you they have love in their hearts.
The truth in God’s word teaches us to rejoice.
12. Be protective
A loving person is protective.
How many times have you had to protect a younger sibling or family member?
You did that out of love.
We also have to protect our hearts and minds because people will try to destroy them.
We should speak up for those who can’t do it for themselves.
When we do it, it should just be out of love.
Being loving is being protective.
13. Learn to trust
This is a tough one in the world we live in.
It seems like people are out for their own gain.
People seem like they just want to use others.
I don’t get that.
But when we know the word of God we learn the practice of discerning.
I always trust people until they show me otherwise.
It’s just in my nature.
It hurts when I learn I can’t trust someone.
I just want people to be okay. I want to see others happy, but I won’t let them be so happy that they can make me miserable.
I know there are some good people and I will keep trusting until I find out otherwise.
Most of all, I put my trust in God.
When I do that He leads me to the right people.
14. Hold on to your hope
When you have hope, you can be a loving person.
When you don’t have hope, you don’t have anything to give.
If you lose your hope, it’s hard to love yourself.
Find hope. Seek God!
There is a reason to have hope.
Today may be a bad day. But try to find something good in it.
I will keep telling you, I’ve had some hopeless days.
Too many to count!
But I wanted to believe there was a reason I was still here.
Hold on to your hope.
Others need you, more than you know.
If you’re looking for hope I created a 4 week study plan with three study options on hope. God loves us so much that He wants us to have hope. You can click on the links to get started with the plans. Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4.
15. Don’t give up
As long as you’re holding on to your hope, keep going.
This is part of the love for yourself.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Talk to God.
Read the Bible.
God has truth for you.
Your life MATTERS!
I just believe that there is love in not giving up. There is love for you and for others.
I hope these tips help you to see what it means to be loving, if you didn’t already know.
We need love now more than ever.
Love conquers hate.
We have to eradicate the hate in our world.
We do that with love!
I will say if you are struggling please seek help.
I’m not a doctor, I can’t diagnose or encourage you to do anything.
I want to see you better Sis!
If any of these tips speak to you please let me know.
God loves you and so do I family! – CL